It was he that wore the captain's armband during that famous night in Munich in 2001, while his stoppage-time equaliser against Greece, which secured his nation's place at the World Cup in the Far East, will live long in the memory.
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Of course, when reflecting on the midfielder's career with the Three Lions it is also impossible not to think about Diego Simeone and that evening in Saint-Etienne. Being unceremoniously dumped by Steve McClaren is also a moment that Beckham will not look back on with great fondness.
Yet, the adventure started for Beckham 19 years ago today in the less-than-glamorous surroundings of Moldova's Stadionul Republica, where he was handed the first of his 115 caps by new England boss Glenn Hoddle.
It was an important World Cup qualifying fixture for England, which also marked their first outing since being beaten on penalties in the semi-finals by Germany as hosts of Euro '96.
While it was a relatively quiet outing for Beckham, he did start the move that resulted in the opening England goal in the 23rd minute. His pass found Andy Hinchcliffe - also a debutant - out on the left. The Everton player's cross was overhit, but Gary Neville on the opposite flank retrieved the situation with a perfectly weighted ball into the area that Nick Barmby converted from close range.
Then, just two minutes later Barmby turned creator when his cross from the right flank was flicked on by Paul Ince's outstretched boot for Paul Gascoigne to loop a header into the far corner of Denis Romanenco's net.
The scoring was completed just after the hour mark by Alan Shearer, who marked his first outing as captain of his country when he capitalised on a defensive error to volley in Neville's headed pass.
As the encounter drew to a close the hosting Moldovans had the perfect chance to pull a goal back when Stuart Pearce was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area, but Serguei Epureanu sent the resultant penalty against the crossbar.
As far as Beckham was concerned, though, his spell as an international footballer was off and running and he would go on to feature in every one of England's qualifiers for France '98.
Moldova: Romanenco; Secu, Nani, Testimitanu; Gaidamasiuc, Epureanu, Curteanu, Belous, Clescenco; Mitereu, Popovici
England: Seaman; Southgate, Pallister, Pearce; Neville, Hinchcliffe, Ince, Gascoigne (Batty), Beckham; Barmby (Le Tissier), Shearer