Beckham started the 1998-99 soccer season on a mission to redeem himself for his grave error at the World Cup. Despite playing under constant pressure and ongoing booing from the crowd, Beckham had an excellent year and lead Manchester United to an unprecedented triple crown, winning the Premier League championship, the FA Cup, and the European Cup. Beckham had another good year during the 1999-2000 season, winning his fourth Premier League championship. He was runner-up in the voting for both best player in Europe and the best player in the world, and was second in voting for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (which was won by Lennox Lewis). Although he scored his fiftieth goal during the season, more press was given to his new mohawk haircut.
Beckham's play on the soccer field went a long way to redeem his image after the World Cup fiasco. Despite a slump early in 2001 that had critics grumbling about his true value, Beckham remained focused and returned to form. By the end of the 2000-01 season, having been named the team's captain, he was receiving high praise for his new-found leadership, maturity, and wisdom. Often knocked as a footballer with exceptional skills that did not necessarily come through in the clutch, Beckham quieted his critics by proving himself on the field.
Beckham's moment of supreme redemption came during the World Cup in 2002, when England once again faced Argentina. Stalled at 0-0, England was awarded a penalty kick. Although he was coming off a broken foot and was not one-hundred percent healthy, Beckham lined up to take the shot. With the Argentinean players doing their best to distract him, Beckham, the master of the penalty kick, put the ball in the back of the net. England defended its 1-0 lead to advance in the World Cup. He was once again the hero.