“No one has ever loved this sport as much as I do“. David Beckham says it with conviction. And we believe him: to reach his level, that of the greatest, physical skills, talent and luck are not enough. Something more is also needed. For Michael Jordan it was the obsession, the absolute will to win, for the English footballer the unconditional love for football, transmitted to him by his father, a die-hard Manchester United fan. Precisely that team which, thanks to the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, brought him into the spotlight around the world. However, Becks was not just a sportsman: he completely revolutionized the figure of the footballer, shaping the image of the players we have today. review by Beckham, docuseries on Netflix from October 4th, starts from this awareness: we find ourselves in front of a true icon. Especially about “personal branding”.
Born in London in 1975, David Beckham practically grew up with the ball at his feet: at just 12 years old he played for Tottenham’s youth team and in 1992, at 17 years old, he made his debut in Manchester United. Considered by many as one of the best midfielders of all time, however, throughout the world he is certainly remembered more for everything that revolved around his career, rather than for the goals he scored. He himself is aware of it: in the four episodes of Beckham, a documentary series strongly supported by David e Victoria Beckahm (for which Netflix apparently paid a fee fee of £16: Yes, Posh e Becks have earned around 18.5 million euros to tell their story), speaks with great honesty about his life until withdrawwhich took place ten years ago now, the July 5, 2013when he played his last match with the Paris Saint Germain.
Directed by Fisher Stevens (2010 Oscar award for documentary The Coveproduced by him, and an actor who you have surely seen in many titles, including Lostin which he plays George Minkowski), the serie Beckham is divided into four episodes: The Kick, Seeing Red, Golden Balls e What makes David Run. L’ex soccer player he tells his story in the first person, together with several central figures, such as, obviously, his wife Victoria, a former Spice Girl, with whom he built a media empire. He spares nothing: the relationship with his parents, his future wife, the various coaches with whom he has worked (the entrance on the scene of Fabio Capellocalled to take the reins of Real Madridwhich, in 2006, despite having a roster of champions, including Ronaldo, the real one, and Figo, had stopped winning: an entry worthy of a great villain, like Darth Vader), the love and hate of the public. Beckham also speaks openly about obsessive compulsive disorder, which leads him to clean everything at night, even the wax from unlit candles.
David Beckham shaped the image of the modern footballer
The images of David Beckham as a teenager are endearing: a shy boy, with a big dream and a boundless love for football. There is an abyss between that child and the cover star, contested as a testimonial. Self-awareness is completely different. As he grew up, in addition to discovering that he knew how to take free kicks in an almost magical way, Beckham found himself with the appearance of a Hollywood star. All footballers have an athletic physique, but he also has the face of an actor. The public, fashion and the press noticed it immediately. Then, at the end of the 90s, the relationship with Victoria Adams, Posh Spice from the Spice Girlsthe world has gone crazy.
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Their union has become a real brand. A brand that, 25 years later, is still strong: Posh and Becks have made several moves, four childrenpresumed betrayals and the ongoing curiosity of the public. There’s no denying it: Victoria was instrumental in David’s life. The same Sir Alex Ferguson he says it in the docuseries: before only football mattered. Then something changed. Beckham, certainly advised by his wife, began to pay much more attention to his appearance, clothes, hair and image. To the point of getting out of hand: in one episode Victoria herself tells how he left her alone on the day of giving birth to Cruz, their third child, because she had to do a photo shoot with Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé. Despite this, they have always remained together: with millionaire contracts as sponsors of watches and underwear and the allure of “power couple“, Beckham is now one with Victoria. Together they created the image of the modern footballer.
While overseas, Michael Jordan changed the agreements between athletes and brands forever in 1984, wresting an unprecedented millionaire contract from Nike (told by Ben Affleck in the film Air, the review here), David Beckham in Europe, before the spread of social media, made the footballer an aspirational model. It was no longer just goals and physical form that counted, but lifestyle. Becks cleared customs i tattoos, the obsessive attention to hair, the passion for fashion, the display of very expensive jewels and watches. All the colleagues who came later and capitalized on their image by transforming themselves into a brand, from Cristiano Ronaldo to Zlatan Ibrahimović, owe him something.
David and Victoria Beckham: the real royal couple
It is impossible to tell the story of David Beckham without Victoria Adams. In the documentary dedicated to him she is not at the center, but she still takes center stage. If the athlete has always played on the front line, Posh Spice is in fact the eminence grise who has been able to be patient, cementing the foundations of what has become, to all intents and purposes, the true “royal couple” of Great Britain. Here too: a model to which many couples today are indebted: from that, now finished, of Francesco Totti and Ilary Blasi, up to the Ferragnez.
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Like a true coach, Victoria shaped David’s image, accommodated his needs as an athlete, every time he moved from one end of the world to the other to change teams, and built a large family. In the meantime, she continued to think about herself too: putting aside her musical career, in 2008 she made her debut as a stylist, with the first fashion show of her fashion house, Victoria Beckham, at New York Fashion Week. Much appreciated as designeralso added the cosmetics line, Victoria Beckham Beauty.
An entrepreneurial mentality that he also passed on to David: today the former footballer is in fact the owner ofInter Miami and, in addition to putting pink nets in the stadium, like the color of the uniforms, he also made a big splash. He convinced the Golden Ball and world champion Lionel Messi to play on the team. The objective is clearly to make football take off in the USA, where at the moment it has not yet become a sport as popular and loved as baseball, basketball and football. Will he succeed? Meanwhile, Beckham barbecues with his family, enjoying his legendary status. Even if he didn’t lose the british humour: when Victoria says, in front of the cameras, that she grew up in a family from working classhe enters the field and, from the door, says to her: “Tell the truth, say in which car your father picked you up from school“! Forcing her to admit that it was a Rolls-Royce. This is perhaps why they are still together after so long: to last, icons don’t have to take themselves 100% seriously.
As written in Beckham’s review, the docuseries on David Beckham not only tells the story of the former footballer’s sporting life, but also his personal one, which his wife Victoria cannot ignore. Together the couple became the real “royal couple” of Great Britain, shaping the imagination of the modern footballer, who has become an aspirational model.
Because we like it
- The irony of the couple formed by David and Victoria Beckham.
- The testimonies of many football legends, from Sir Alex Ferguson to Ronaldo.
- Fabio Capello’s entrance on the scene: worthy of the best cinematic villains.
- To those who are not interested in the world of football and customs, little could be said.