Staying True to USA’s Roots, David Beckham Gives Heartwarming Tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton Before Handing Ballon d’Or to Lionel Messi

Published 10/30/2023, 6:22 PM EDT

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The Ballon d’Or gets better every year, adding more emotion and a human touch to the sport. And what better occasion can legends find to pay their tributes here? David Beckham has been given the honor of presenting this year’s Ballon d’Or award to the Men’s winner, which turned out to be Lionel Messi. But before doing the honors, the former runner-up gave an emotional tribute to one of his country’s greatest soccer players- the late Sir Bobby Charlton. Additionally, fans witnessed Beckham using the term soccer, a word he became accustomed to due to his involvement with his team in the United States.

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The Ballon d’Or this year saw two England legends presenting popular awards, including the 1986 runner-up Gary Lineker. But when they asked Beckham what Sir Bobby meant to him, he gave a fitting tribute. That led the 1999 treble winner to express his gratitude towards Sir Bobby.

David Beckham credits Sir Bobby Charlton for his support

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Notably, David Beckham joined Manchester United in July 1991, but the roots of his signing trace even six years behind. He credited the United legend for recognizing his talent after he joined Bobby Charlton Soccer School when he was ten years old.

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After watching Beckham at his academy, Sir Bobby referred him to the Red Devils. Before presenting the award to Lionel Messi, Beckham credited the former United Legend, saying, “If not for Sir Bobby who told Manchester United, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. I owe him everything.”

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Notably, Beckham paid a similar tribute on Instagram the day Sir Bobby passed away. But this time, the former Manchester United captain used a broader platform to preach about his country’s legend. Beckham once again extended his condolences to the entire family of the late Sir Bobby Charlton. Amidst his famous documentary, he presented the award to Messi in a cherishable moment. 

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Why Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi Never Voted For Each Other in the Ballon d’Or?

Beckham presents the award to his partner in America

Messi won his 8th Ballon d’Or and will return to David Beckham’s Inter Miami. Beckham has already revolutionized soccer in the US initially by joining the MLS, its first designated player. The Englishman further expanded his legacy by bringing in Lionel Messi by sheer persistence.

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Watch this story: LeBron James, James Harden, Trae Young, and Other NBA Stars Give Lionel Messi His Flowers After Argentina’s FIFA World Cup Win

With his accomplishment, MLS has received its first player to win the most prestigious individual award in the sport. David Beckham, who heaped gratitude for Sir Bobby, continues a similar legacy for the sport with similar activities.

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Written by:

Ruthu

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Ruthu is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. His passion for the most beloved game was ignited by the remarkable 2002 World Cup-winning Brazil team. Watching the Premier League where Thierry Henry-starred ‘Invincible’ Gunners and Sir Alex Ferguson’s glorious Manchester United had ruled, he had his heart set on Arsenal.
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Edited by:

Jacob Gijy

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