David Beckham record at risk as James Ward-Prowse set to overtake Man Utd legend
David Beckham, watch out. James Ward-Prowse is now only two behind Golden Balls for free-kicks scored in the Premier League – having netted a crucial dead-ball winner against Everton.
The 28-year-old Southampton captain is currently the hottest free-kick taker in world football and only needs another two to match the 18 slotted home by Beckham for Manchester United.
The former England skipper scored his first against Southampton in 1996 and 18th against Everton in May of 2003 – with Ward-Prowse having plenty of time on his side.
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Having scored the opener, Ward-Prowse netted his second direct free-kick goal of the season to grab all three points having fired one home against Fulham in December.
The one-club player netted four by the same method last season and the same amount the season before, making it only a matter of time before he takes the crown – if Southampton beat the drop.
Speaking to talkSPORT earlier in the month, Ward-Prowse admitted that the record is on his mind with plenty on social media awaiting his toppling of the former Real Madrid man.
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He said: "I think it’s starting to take more thought in my head. The closer I get, I am aware of it. You are probably going to expect me to say but I want the team to do well.
"I want that to come first and the personal accolades come last."
Beckham has also given his thoughts on the record in the past, saying after Ward-Prowse discussed beating the record of his hero: "Looking forward to it mate. Another great one today, four more to go."
Another huge compliment to the ability of Ward-Prowse from set-pieces has come from Pep Guardiola, who said earlier this month: "There is no better taker.
"Southampton have the best free-kick taker I have ever seen, or at least he is in the world right now. He is so good that maybe you miss a little bit of the footballer player. He is a team player of great quality, without the ball and with the ball.
"He really understands the game but it is his free-kicks, set-pieces, and corners that people pay more attention to."
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