Why Beckham is such an effective crosser

Without a doubt David Beckham is one, if not the best crosser of the ball in World. He combines a fantastic, almost unique technique, with an understanding that the cross must be delivered into space, almost invariably missing the first defender and to the middle / back of the area between the 6 yard box and penalty area. At times he can be accused of being a one trick pony. But he is such a clever player that it is very difficult to stop his one trick. Once he has created himself the space, he controls the ball so well and exactly where he want it to deliver the cross.

The key to Beckhams crossing ability is that he opens himself out when receiving the ball and controls the ball outside the line of his body. This does two things, he can get his head up to assess the positions of his forwards and the defenders and allows him to whip the ball, striking the outside of the ball, with a great deal of pace and swerve, concentrating on hitting pace, not players. By employing this technique, he knows that it is very unlikely he will hit the ball behind the goal as it will always be swerving back into play and into a space. The other key is that he will always try and miss the first defender and put the cross between defenders and the goalkeeper.

Examples of Beckham crossing technique:




In this example from the Hungary game, Beckham takes a quick throw to Ferdinand, checks back to receive the ball, opens himself out, assesses the positions of the defenders and forwards and delivers a perfect cross into space for J.Cole to attack. Note the run of Neville to attract the attention of the defender who was in a position to put pressure on Beckham. If the defender had pressured Beckham he had an option to play a simple pass into Neville who would then have been in space on the edge of the area.


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