• Premier League

Waddle: Beckham not one of Prem's best 1,000 players

ESPN staff
May 17, 2013

Former England international Chris Waddle does not believe David Beckham should be ranked among the top 1,000 players in Premier League history.

Beckham, who has won ten domestic titles during his career - six of those with Manchester United - announced his retirement from football on Thursday, bringing an illustrious career to a close at the end of the current campaign.

The 38-year-old has been widely lauded for a successful career in the aftermath of the announcement, but Waddle believes the former Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder was "good, not great".

Just over 3,000 players have appeared in a Premier League during the competition's history - but Waddle does not believe Beckham would be ranked among the best 1,000 of those.

"I would say he has been a good player, I wouldn't put him down as a great," Waddle told BBC Radio 5 Live. "You can go down a list of footballers since the Premier League and I don't think David Beckham would probably be in the first 1,000.

"I think there has been a lot more talented players in the world. But he made the most of what he has got."

Waddle - who picked up 62 caps for England compared to Beckham's 115 - believes the Londoner's ascension to global icon has perhaps overshadowed the true extent of his footballing talent.

"He has got a terrific image and used it very well," Waddle said. "He never had a trick, wasn't particularly quick, but he was very good at set-pieces and deliveries, he made chances and made goals and was fantastic for clubs.

"He said the right things, he sold shirts, he put money in the tills wherever he went and conducted himself well.

"As a player I would say he was a fantastic crosser of the ball, a great athlete. Now people will be talking about him and saying 'how great, how great'. I would say 'how good'.

"I would not say he was a great. He was very good at his job, he worked very hard as a professional footballer."

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