Here’s a look at the list of the candidates who have been nominated for this year’s awards.
David Beckham is our next addition on this list.
The winner of the award has to be above the age of 28 and still playing. Awarded for a footballer’s outstanding sporting achievements, the winner gets to leave his footprints on the Champions Promenade overlooking the seafront at the Principality of Monaco. Just like the Hollywood walk of fame, only slightly less cool.
Full name: David Robert Joseph Beckham
DOB: May 2, 1975
Clubs: Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain
Why is he on this list?
David Beckham is easily the most globally recognised footballing figure (if not one of the most globally recognised sportsmen) but that is only the surface layer of a footballer who happens to be one of the most hard working and committed players to ever grace the beautiful game in the modern era.
His move to Paris Saint-Germain last January at the age of 37 shows how much he loves playing the game. That he donated all of his wages to charity while he was in the French capital shows that playing the game at the highest level comes before money.
While at LA Galaxy, he was responsible for trebling Major League Soccer’s average attendances and during the off-season, was snapped up twice by AC Milan, where he demonstrated that he was capable of playing at the highest level.
At Manchester United, he was constantly praised by coaches for his work ethic, normally spending hours after training to work on his free kicks.
What’s he won?
AC Milan aside, Beckham has won trophies in every league he has played in.
His successes began at Manchester United, where he won six Premier League titles and helped the Old Trafford outfit lift the FA Cup on two different occasions, having lifted the Youth Cup in the same tournament once.
Although he never lifted the League Cup with the Red Devils, he won three Community Shields, an Intercontinental Cup, and was part of the side that defied the odds and won the Champions League with two dramatic goals against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou in 1999.
His trophy cabinet saw more additions when he moved to Real Madrid. He won one Primera Liga and one Spanish Super Cup and added to that with seven more trophies at the Galaxy.
His team won the play-offs thrice, won the Western Conference thrice more and in his last season at the Home Depot Center, lifted the MLS Cup.
Beckham then became the first Englishman to win a league title in four different nations when he won the Ligue 1 championship with PSG last season.
He’s also won several personal awards. In 2010, the BBC awarded him English Football’s Lifetime Achievement Award, two years after he’d been inducted into English Football’s Hall of Fame and he’s been named in both the Domestic and Overall Teams of the Decade when the Premier League celebrated ten years of its establishment.
His goal against Wimbledon, which was scored from inside his own half, was voted as the Best Goal of the Decade as well.
He’d been derided time and time again for shunning the MLS during his time at AC Milan, but he was named the MLS Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 and was included in the league’s best XI that year.
He is also a part of the FIFA 100, the list of 125 of the world’s best players released by Pele to commemorate 100 years of FIFA.
Best and worst moments
Beckham was vilified by his nation’s press for his sending off against Argentina when he tripped up Diego Simeone during England’s Round of 16 match against their long-standing rivals during the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
He was then painted as a scapegoat for England’s exit from France.
Effigies of him were burnt throughout the country and he was jeered whenever he walked on to a Premier League pitch that season.
In a fashion typically reminiscent of the training he received at United, he made up for his misdemeanour when he scored the equaliser in the dying seconds of England’s 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Greece to take the Three Lions through to Korea-Japan.
Beckham was also at the receiving end of an infamous boot from Sir Alex Ferguson during his time at United. That was played up by the press as the point where relations between manager and player at Old Trafford.
Beckham is England’s most capped outfield player with 115 caps to his name. He is ten caps short of England’s record, which is held by goalkeeping legend Peter Shilton.
What’s he like off the pitch?
Beckham and his wife Victoria – formerly of the Spice Girls – regularly make the back pages of newspapers and the two are regarded as an international glamour couple. He has four children, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Seven, with her.
Becks has been the face for several international brands in the past, including Coca-Cola, IBM, EA Sports, Sky Sports and Samsung.
Having being labelled a ‘metrosexual’, the footballer and his singer wife have been sought out by several fashion brands, health product lines, perfume brands etc. An example of the same is the David Beckham Instinct brand that he brought out in 2007. He was reportedly paid $13.7 million to launch the fragrance in the USA.
In 2010, Beckham visited Afghanistan to boost the morale of British troops stationed there.
He has received several honours from the British government for his contribution to the sport. In 2003, he was conferred an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II. Since 2007, he has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
He’s also been given the award of Greatest Ambassador in the 100 Greatest Britons awards.
Could he win the Golden Foot?
Given his achievements both on and off the pitch, Beckham’ character and personality makes him a favourite for the award and he could well appear on the Champions Promenade in Monaco.
Truth be told, it would be a shame if he doesn’t.