#WorldCup: David Beckham predicts England vs Argentina final

David Beckham has predicted that England will play Argentina in the final of the 2018 World Cup

David Beckham has predicted that England will play Argentina in the final of the 2018 World Cup

Former Manchester United player David Beckham has backed England and Argentina to reach the World Cup final in Russia.

The last time the Three Lions progressed to the quarter-finals was in 2006, when Beckham was captain.

Two-time winners Argentina were runners-up in 2014.

“I think obviously my choice would be England to win the competition, but that’s me being biased and passionate about my country,” said Beckham, who was speaking at an event in China.

England beat Tunisia 2-1 in their opening game, boosting their chances of reaching the knockout round.

They next face Panama on Sunday, while Argentina’s second group game is against Croatia on Thursday (19:00 BST)

“I’m very happy that we won the first game in the group,” added Beckham.

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“England is a very young team, they don’t have a lot of experience yet and the journey of the World Cup will become harder and harder because there are many good teams in the tournament.”

Beckham has World Cup memories of his own but none compares to helping England reach the 2002 World Cup.

Beckham played a major role in helping England qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, starring in an impressive 5–1 victory over Germany in Munich.

The final step in Beckham’s conversion from villain to national hero happened in England’s final qualifying game against Greece on 6 October 2001.

England needed to win or draw the match to qualify outright for the World Cup, but were losing 2–1 with little time remaining.

When Teddy Sheringham was fouled eight yards outside the Greek penalty area, England were awarded a free-kick and Beckham ensured England’s qualification with a curling strike of the kind that had become his trademark.

Beckham was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2001, and finished runner-up, to Luís Figo of Portugal, for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.

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