108-CAP BECKS: A WORTHY SUCCESSOR TO MOORE; SPAIN V ENGLAND FRIENDLY IN SEVILLE, TOMORROW, KO 9PM Ferdinand: He's Earned Place in History

The Mirror (London, England), February 10, 2009 | Go to article overview

108-CAP BECKS: A WORTHY SUCCESSOR TO MOORE; SPAIN V ENGLAND FRIENDLY IN SEVILLE, TOMORROW, KO 9PM Ferdinand: He's Earned Place in History


Byline: BY MARTIN LIPTON

RIO FERDINAND last night told David Beckham's critics the former skipper has proved himself worthy of matching Bobby Moore's record of England appearances.

Beckham is set to earn his 108th cap - and make his 100th start - in Seville tomorrow, putting him level with the most legendary name in the history of English football.

In a career spanning 13 years and seven managers, Ferdinand suggested jealousy about the midfielder's lifestyle was the wrong reason for questioning his commitment, desire and contribution to his country.

"I don't understand why people are arguing about why he should equal BobbyMoore," said the Manchester United and England defender.

"Maybe it's just because it's Becks, a talking point, because he's become a big kind of personality in the entertainment world.

"Some people might think he doesn't deserve it because he's not a whole-hearted footballer.

"But someone like Becks didn't play for Manchester United and Real Madrid and then come to AC Milan when people think he's over the hill and become an integral part of that team within a few weeks if he's more interested in being someone on the catwalk.

"He has a lot of determination that people who don't really know him wouldn't expect to be there.

"You don't go to AC Milan and get in that team if you're halfhearted.

"You've got to be someone who is up for the job, who wants to compete and wants to be a winner and that's what Becks is, he's someone who wants to do well."

Beckham's performances since his loan move to the San Siro has seen Milan owner and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi intervene to try to get him released from his contract at LAGalaxy, while the 31-year-old revealed his body fat level is the lowest of his entire career.

And Ferdinand insisted only the churlish would deny Beckham his right to be considered a true great of English football.

He added: "There's no taking away what Bobby Moore was - an icon of English football who lifted the World Cup, the only man to do that for England.

"But Becks going past his record won't diminish anything Bobby Moore did.

"He's a top player, who's scored important goals and made great assists at club level and in an England shirt. He will be looked on as a great player, and deservedly so. …

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108-CAP BECKS: A WORTHY SUCCESSOR TO MOORE; SPAIN V ENGLAND FRIENDLY IN SEVILLE, TOMORROW, KO 9PM Ferdinand: He's Earned Place in History
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