Eric Dier reveals he has been practicing to "bend it like" his idol David Beckham
In trademark fashion, England somehow managed to make life difficult for themselves after letting three points slip away from their grasp after drawing their opening group match against Russia in Euro 2016 courtesy an injury-time equalizer. Despite the disappointing result which the Three Lions’ supporters have now become wary of, fans having traveled with the team to France would have surely gotten their money’s worth in watching the stunning free kick scored by Eric Dier.
It was a surprise to most fans when Dier stepped up to take the free-kick right at the edge of the penalty area ahead of Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney, and even more so when he thunder-bolted the ball into the back of the net, leaving the keeper with absolutely no chance of getting even a finger to it. The effort would surely have left Dier’s idol David Beckham himself awestruck.
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Speaking to England’s twitter account, Dier admitted that he has been working a lot on his dead-ball ability. "I've practiced [free kicks] a lot in training, especially since we (Engand’s squad) met up. I was lucky to take my chance," the 22-year-old said.
Though he has never taken a set-piece in 65 appearances for his club Tottenham Hotspurs, his dead-ball prowess is well known to people who have worked with the player before his time with the North London club. While playing for Sporting Lisbon, he was known as a free-kick specialist and scored a few stunners from set-pieces, including against main rivals Benfica and Porto. His skills with set-pieces, however, have not been showcased much in the Premier League because of the presence of Christian Eriksen at Spurs.
Dier had earlier revealed that he idolizes David Beckham and keeps a photo of the England legend hugging him at his home, taken when he had met the former England skipper as a kid back during the 2004 European Championship in Portugal. The England International did earn comparisons with his role model on twitter following his free-kick on Saturday but has a long way to go to prove himself.
“England vs Wales more like an English derby”: Dier
England will face Wales on Thursday in a must-win game, and Dier believes that the match will have more intensity than a normal international fixture. “I think it might be a bit less like an international game and a bit more of an English game, especially with the players involved,” the defender turned midfielder said. ”It might be a bit different to all the other games you’ve seen in the tournament, so I think that’s good for the spectators as well. It’s a massive game for them and for us, for many different reasons. Everyone is going to look forward to it.”
A defeat against Wales could see England’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stages in jeopardy as they will have to depend on results elsewhere in spit of a win on the last matchday of their group.