Legendary British footballer David Beckham has recently spoken about his experience on the Netflix documentary Beckham, which was released to mark the 10th anniversary of his retirement from the sport.
He specifically touched upon the treatment he received after his infamous red card at the 1998 World Cup, in which both football fans and the media alike bombarded him with hate for what they perceived to be Beckham costing England the World Cup.
In an interview with The Associated Press, he revealed that, “This whole process has been like an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve never talked about these certain moments in my career and in my life.”
The four-part series explores Beckham’s upbringing, his relationship with and subsequent marriage to Victoria Beckham (known also as Posh Spice), and his trials and tribulations on the pitch.
However, his red card in the match against Argentina proved the most challenging moment to revisit. “I hadn’t actually watched it,” he said, “and I hadn’t actually watched the interviews and what people said about me after.” It left him “shocked and emotional.
He was sent for an early bath during the match for purposefully kicking the back of Diego Simeone’s leg and made matters worse by lashing out at the Argentina captain, who then pushed him to the ground. In the sporting world, the iconic English footballer went from beloved to hated over the course of a single game.
Beckham showcases footage showing his mistreatment by British tabloids, the incessant fan abuse, and a particularly sinister moment where an effigy of Beckham was hung by a noose outside a London pub. “I knew it was bad at the time,” he said, “but going over that whole that whole thing was quite a tough one.”