David Beckham goes on an emotional rollercoaster for new documentary “Beckham”

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. lash out / læʃ aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to attack someone with angry words

    The customer was lashing out at the store clerk because of poor customer service.

  2. condemnation / ˌkɒn dɛmˈneɪ ʃən / (n.) – a statement or expression of very strong disapproval of someone or something

    The politician’s dishonest actions have received condemnation from the people.

  3. effigy / ˈɛf ɪ dʒi / (n.) – an image or statue of a person who is disliked or hated

    The protesters burned an effigy of the politician.

  4. thanks to (someone/something) / θæŋks tu / (idiom) – with the help of someone or something

    Thanks to technology, people can now see each other during a call.

  5. highs and lows / haɪz ænd loʊz / (idiom) – the periods of success and failure of a company, career, investment, etc.

    It is normal for businesses to experience highs and lows.


Read the text below.

In the new Netflix documentary “Beckham,” former soccer star David Beckham looks back at the hateful treatment he received following his infamous 1998 FIFA World Cup red card.

The four-part series explores Beckham’s upbringing and his triumphs on the field, but perhaps the most difficult part was revisiting his painful sending-off during England’s World Cup match against Argentina.

Beckham was red-carded after being pushed to the ground and lashing out after kicking the back of Diego Simeone’s leg. England’s World Cup hopes were crushed, and Beckham went from hero to villain.

“Beckham” lays bare the condemnation from both the British tabloids and soccer fans, with one “supporter” hanging an effigy of the player from a noose outside a London pub.

The documentary also touches upon Beckham’s move from a player to a cultural icon and entrepreneur. He was a trailblazer in the sport thanks to collaborations with brands including Adidas, Armani, and Breitling.

“I always made sure that whatever I was doing off the field never affected what I was doing on the field because that was what I loved and what was important to me.”

His business savvy culminated in ownership of his own soccer team, Inter Miami.

“I had the opportunity to play in different countries, move to America, obviously have my own franchise and my own team, become an owner,” he said. “So then once I finished playing, I knew that the moment I finished playing, I could then jump into the business. But, we were working on that a long time before that.”

Looking back on the highs and lows of his career, it’s natural to wonder if Beckham has any regrets.

“Do I wish things hadn’t happened? Absolutely. Do I wish ‘98 hadn’t happened? Absolutely.”

But, by the end of his career, he realized everything happens for a reason.

“It made me stronger as a person, as a player, as a human being, and as a father as a husband,” he said. “And if that hadn’t have happened, I maybe I wouldn’t have had the career that I had.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Beckham said he always made sure that whatever he was doing off the field never affected what he was doing on the field. Why do you think athletes should separate off-field activities and on-field performance? Discuss.
  • Do you believe in Beckham’s realization that everything happens for a reason? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • David Beckham revisited a painful memory of his life through a documentary. What particular event of your life would you like to revisit? Why? Discuss.
  • The four-part documentary series explores Beckham’s upbringing and his triumphs on the field. Given the chance, would you also like your life to be featured through a documentary? Why or why not? Discuss.