David Beckham's 39th Birthday: Manchester United And England Legend's Best Free-Kicks (VIDEO)

David Beckham celebrates his first birthday in retirement today, so the 39-year-old can be forgiven for reminiscing about some of the stunning strikes he registered during an 18-year career.

The lethal Denis Irwin was Manchester United's free-kick taker when Beckham emerged into the first-team, however the Irishman soon made way for a player who boasted one of the greatest right foots in football's modern history.

Here are 10 of the best from Becks...


A game best remembered for Matt Le Tissier's lob as United sieved six after they were hit for five at Newcastle the previous week, those at the Dell also witnessed Beckham's first career goal from a free-kick.


Beckham admitted in a 1997 United video he always looked at the corner he wasn't aiming for when sizing up a free-kick. The calamitous David James was always easy to deceive, but the accuracy of his set-piece at Anfield in December 1997, to regain United's lead, was magnificent.

"Beckham... Goal! A free-kick struck... to... perfection."


Not trusted by then-England manager Glenn Hoddle, Beckham was left out of the first two England matches at the '98 World Cup but recalled for the must-win final group game against the south Americans. He rose to the occasion.


Louis van Gaal first encountered United in the first of two absorbing 3-3 draws between the Reds and Barcelona in 1998. Having seen their two-goal lead extinguished quickly after the break, United were desperately in need of brilliance to buoy them. "It's Beckham... It's fantastic," Clive Tyldesley emphatically cried.


An overlooked goal in United's magnificent title run-in with Arsenal, Beckham hit a scorching winner past Michael Oakes, whose four-man wall curiously featured two United men in the middle.


On the morning of United's trip to Filbert Street, the tabloids splashed that Beckham had shaved his hair off, although there would be no Samson effect. Without a goal in nearly two months, he ended his drought to kickstart a run of six in 10 games with a gloriously swift and dipping effort which flabbergasted Tim Flowers.

The first post-cut goal, Filbert Street, 2000

WEST HAM, 2000

All but one of Beckham's five goals against West Ham came at Upton Park, and he whipped in the sixth of United's 7-1 thumping of the Hammers 14 years ago at Old Trafford.


Back when City were a yo-yo club, United's trip to Maine Road in November 2000 was the first Manchester derby in four-and-a-half years. The game was not two minutes old when Beckham struck the winner in front of United's animated following in the North Stand.

GREECE, 2001

Antonios Nikopolidis' statuesque goalkeeping could not taint what was Beckham's most important England goal, as he secured their World Cup ticket with a stoppage-time equaliser at Old Trafford.


In his final United appearance, Beckham cancelled out Kevin Campbell's opener with a boomerang-like curler away from the bamboozled Richard Wright.