Former Manchester United and England striker Teddy Sheringham has admitted he tried to convince David Beckham to let him take the iconic freekick against Greece in 2001.
The pair knew each other extremely well, having played in the same side at Old Trafford for four seasons, as well as donning the England shirt together across six years.
They were both involved in a famous game at United’s home ground in October 2001 when England took on Greece in a crucial 2002 World Cup qualifier.
The Three Lions needed at least one point from the game to qualify outright for the tournament, but found themselves 2-1 down despite a goal from Sheringham in the 68th minute.
Sheringham then won a free kick for his side with just a few seconds remaining before the full-time whistle — a set-piece that Beckham duly scored in one of the most famous moments in the history of the national team.
However, Sheringham admitted that he tried to convince his former United teammate Beckham to give him the free kick — before the England skipper told him there was no chance.
“I think back to that famous game against Greece at Old Trafford in 2001 where David Beckham scores the late free-kick to send us through to the World Cup”, Sheringham told Ladbrokes at the launch of their European Championships 5-a-side Bet.
“First of all, I’d already scored to make it 1-1 in the game, so I was buzzing. I felt ten feet tall, and I’d won the free-kick late on in the game, making the most of a shove from the defender.
“Becks had probably had five or six free-kicks in that game, and they’d gone all over the place; he’d hit the wall, he’d hit Row Z, so when we got the last one I actually said to him ‘Becks, I’ll have this one.’
“He just said ‘Go away, Ted. You can’t even reach from here.’
“He had a point. I’d scored the odd free-kick in my career but I saw Becks on a daily basis practicing so I knew he was better. If you had to put money on someone putting the ball in the top corner in the last minute of a game, you’d put it on him.
“He told me to go away in the most polite way he could think of at the time, and ended up scoring. That’s what top players are all about.”