Our Best Takeaways from Beckham: Winning the Treble, Alleged Affairs & More

David Beckham is one of the most famous and influential footballers of all time, although whether we can consider him as a legend of the game is up for debate.

The new Netflix documentary, Beckham, focuses on the man behind the legend, with never-before-seen footage and interviews with his family, friends, and former colleagues.

The four-part series, directed by Oscar winner Fisher Stevens, covers Beckham’s journey from his humble beginnings in London to his global stardom with Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, and England.

Along the way, we get to see some of his life’s most pivotal and personal moments, both on and off the pitch.

In his professional career, David Beckham scored 127 goals and 225 assists in his club career, and 17 goals and 42 assists in his international career. He is best known for his time at Manchester United, where he was part of their historic treble-winning team.

While Beckham seems quite well-researched in parts and is mostly entertaining to watch, especially for a football fan like me, it sometimes fails to portray a realistic portrait of Beckham.

A lot of his life is not covered in enough detail, such as his time in Real Madrid, AC Milan and PSG as a footballer, and his post-retirement career as a businessman and the owner of MLS club, Inter Miami.

However, it definitely has some interesting revelations about Beckham’s career and personal life. From his alleged affair in Spain to the infamous red card, we’ve got you covered with all the big revelations in the Beckham documentary. 

1. Beckham’s Wonder Goal vs Wimbledon

The documentary begins with a shot of Beckham’s half-way line ‘wonder’ goal against Wimbledon. While this is not a new revelation, the documentary illustrates how the goal changed his life and gave him a chance to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a Manchester United legend.

David Beckham Halfway Line Goal Vs Wimbldeon

In his era, United were in their glory days, led by the greatest manager in their history, Sir Alex Ferguson. They were widely considered the best club in the world in the 90s. (My deepest condolences to current United fans reading this right now. It shall pass!)

Beckham made his debut in the colors of United in 1992 against Brighton at the age of 17. In 1996, he scored the legendary halfway-line goal in United’s season-opening game in the Premier League and caught the attention of the world. Beckham’s goal is still considered one of the best long-range shots in the sport.

The legendary goal first brought him into the limelight because it was one of a kind. Even today, very few players have been able to score a halfway-line goal in the history of the sport. For context, neither Kylian Mbappe nor Erling Haaland, arguably two of the best attackers in the post-Messi-Ronaldo generation, have zero free-kicks to their contribution.

Suarez volley vs Norwich HD

2. Sir Alex Disapproved of David’s Relationship with Victoria

It seems like Sir Alex did not really approve of ‘Posh and Becks’, and the massive amount of media attention that they got. Beckham started dating Victoria Adams, a.k.a Posh Spice from the popular all-girls pop band Spice Girls.

The Biggest Revelations in the David Beckham Documentary
Beckham and Sir Alex | Source: MANUTD

The couple started dating in 1997, shortly after David Beckham entered his footballing ‘prime’ (the period when a player is at his best in the game).

Beckham and Victoria became one of the most popular couples in the nineties and quickly became an inherent part of pop culture. We have not seen a power couple like them in football, other than Spanish defender Gerard Pique’s relationship with pop star Shakira, but that is a tragic tale for another day. Thanks to the juggernaut that we call English media, Beckham and Victoria’s relationship took away the attention from his football.

Sir Alex felt that Beckham was too carried away by his relationship and did not give enough time to the sport. He felt Victoria was harming his career. He disapproved of it when they first began dating and after they married shortly after winning the Champions League with United.

The Boss was also strongly against the amount of media attention Beckham was getting, as he wanted him to focus solely on football. In the documentary, Beckham said that he knew that his career as a footballer would come to an end one day, and he wanted to have a career after football as well.

This is the reason why Beckham welcomed and enjoyed the media attention and was in the process of making himself a brand. He wanted to be much bigger than the club he was representing, which was clearly against Sir Alex’s principles.

Looking at it today, we can say that Beckham did become more of a brand and less of a footballer over the course of time. Beckham is now the owner and president of MLS club, Inter Miami and co-owner of Salford City.

3. Victoria Told David She’s Pregnant Before Argentina Game

Victoria Beckham revealed in ‘Beckham’ that she had told David that she was pregnant with their first child the night before he was supposed to face Argentina in the World Cup Round of 16.

Victoria’s revelation before this match, in particular, is significant because, in this match, Beckham ended up getting a direct red for tripping Diego Simeone.

The Biggest Revelations in the David Beckham Documentary
Beckham’s Red Card | Source: Netflix

David began playing for the England National Team in 1996 in a World Cup qualifier. The national team was managed by Glenn Hoddle at that time. Like every other player, he shared England’s lifelong dream of winning the World Cup. However, the 1998 World Cup did not turn out as expected for the Brits in general and Beckham in particular.

After qualifying in the group stages, England faced Argentina in the Round of 16. In the 47th minute of the game, David Beckham was given a straight red card for tripping Argentine midfielder Diego Simeone. Simeone is currently the manager of the Spanish football club Atletico Madrid.

Beckham Red Card v Argentina 1998

David’s red card was a huge blow for England as they lost one of their best players and had to compete with ten men. Although they managed to hold onto a 2-2 draw until extra time, they lost to Argentina in penalties and were eliminated from the World Cup.

This led to widespread criticism of David throughout England. Many fans blamed Beckham for his careless and reckless attitude. All in all, it was clearly not the right time for David to enjoy the news of Victoria’s pregnancy.

Victoria also revealed that she felt the news would make him happy and give him more strength. But there is absolutely no reason to think David was more distracted or focused because of the news.

It was clearly an honest mistake on Beckham’s part. Even Simeone agrees that he did not deserve a straight red card for it. Perhaps a yellow would have been better.

4. Glenn Hoddle Never Supported Beckham

The manager of the England National Team, Glenn Hoddle, never publicly supported Beckham or said anything remotely positive about him in post-match interviews.

After the Argentina game, Hoddle was asked about Beckham’s red card. He criticized him publicly and did not show him enough support during a difficult time.

The Biggest Revelations in the David Beckham Documentary
Glenn Hoddle and Beckham | Source: Netflix

At a time when your own country is on the verge of hating you, a few kind words from the manager may have eased the situation a little. However, we never heard Hoddle’s side in the documentary. He disapproved of the constant media attention Beckham got for his looks, relationship and other such things, rather than his football. So, he could have had valid reasons for not supporting him.

Victoria blames Hoddle for his poor treatment of Beckham during the 1998 World Cup. It was David’s first World Cup, and he was clearly excited as well as anxious. However, Hoddle always had issues with him and even benched him in a couple of games.

[QUOTE: “Glenn Hoddle didn’t come out and try to protect him. And how old was David, 23?” – Victoria Beckham]

5. David Beckham Suffered from Depression After Argentina Game

‘Beckham’ draws a lot of attention to the mental turmoil that David went through after the red card incident in the World Cup. He was clinically depressed and had to face offensive chants from the crowds every day.

The documentary includes a lot of footage from various matches in which the crowd booed Beckham. He was booed in almost every match in the Premier League. The English crowd hated him, and the media continued to add fuel to the fire.

The Biggest Revelations in the David Beckham Documentary
Beckham in his documentary | Source: Netflix

David also revealed how he got threats of his son, Brooklyn, getting kidnapped after he was born. He was anxious on the night of the birth of his first child and wanted to stay by the door at all times to protect Victoria and Brooklyn.

Fans booing a player to show their displeasure is common in football, but sometimes it gets much uglier than imagined. In fact, there are many recent examples.

In the 2014 World Cup, Gonzalo Higuain missed a shot-on-target, after which he faced immense criticism from the people of his own country. He later opened up about it and revealed how he had to battle depression to get over it.

The greatest player to ever grace the sport, Lionel Messi, has also not been spared of such antiques. Messi lost three back-to-back finals for Argentina in the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 Copa America.

There were clips of Messi’s hoardings being burnt, statues being broken in Argentina and chants were heard on his name. It was a difficult time in Messi’s life. The legend even announced his retirement from international football, but destiny had other plans for him. So, the phoenix rose again from the ashes.

While Beckham’s story may not be as poetic as Messi’s, the phoenix in him got its chance, too, as Beckham won the historic treble with Manchester United in 1999. All in all, 1998-99 was not all that a bad season for him.

6. The Resurrection: United Vs. Inter Milan 

Beckham eventually got a chance to redeem himself in the next year itself. The turning point was the match between Manchester United and Italian giants Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final.

This match also marked the first face-off between Beckham and Simeone after the infamous red card incident, as Simeone represented Inter.

After hearing the crowd booing him in every match and celebrating a foul against him, David finally got his confidence back when he heard the crowd at Old Trafford Stadium (Manchester United’s home ground) chanting his name and cheering for him.

The Biggest Revelations in the David Beckham Documentary
Beckham at Old Trafford | Source: MANUTD

As always, Beckham felt back home in the colors of his boyhood club and realized that the crowd of Old Trafford would always look after him. The match ended with a favorable result for United, with a 2-0 win.

Diego Simeone exchanged shirts with David Beckham after the game, marking an end to the tension between them. After that, there was no looking back for Beckham.

7. The Dream Run to the Historic Treble

From the most hated man in England, Beckham quickly became a treble-winner with Manchester United. After all, he was a villain everywhere except Old Trafford.

[QUOTE: Don’t worry, son. “You’re a Manchester United player. We’ll look after you.” – Sir Alex Ferguson]

Man United’s historic treble-winning season saw them win the Premier League. The Red Devils defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the final Premier League game of the season, which sealed the title for them.

They also lifted the prestigious FA Cup after defeating Newcastle United in the finals. Finally, Sir Alex’s lads went on to win the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious trophy in Europe by defeating Bayern Munich in a nail-biting game.

The Biggest Revelations in the David Beckham Documentary
Beckham with the Champions League Trophy | Source: UEFA

United were the champions of Europe for the first time since 1968. Beckham finally managed to get his reputation back, and things were going right for him. 

If you’re a United fan, Beckham episode 2 is a must-watch for you as it features United’s pathway to winning the treble. It almost makes you cry, and I am not even a United fan! Take a break from Onana’s weekly disasters in the present time and relive the glory days again.

8. David and Victoria Talks About David’s Alleged Affair

One of the biggest challenges that David and Victoria Beckham faced in their marriage was the scandal involving Rebecca Loos, a former personal assistant of David. The couple opened up about it for the first time in ‘Beckham.’

The Biggest Revelations in the David Beckham Documentary
David and Victoria | Source: https://www.netflix.com/title/81223488

Loos claimed that she had a four-month affair with David in 2004, when he moved to Spain to play for Real Madrid. David vehemently denied the allegations and Victoria stood by him, but they both admitted that it was a very difficult time for their relationship.

In the documentary, David expressed his gratitude that he and Victoria were able to overcome the crisis and preserve their marriage. However, the couple did not share details about what exactly happened.

9. Sir Alex Threw a Boot at Beckham

David Beckham opened up about the infamous incident in 2003 when he confronted Sir Alex after being hit by a flying boot in the dressing room.

The incident occurred after a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup, when Ferguson blamed Beckham for not tracking back and allowing a goal. Beckham swore at Ferguson, who then kicked a boot that was lying on the floor and accidentally hit Beckham above his left eye, causing a cut that required stitches.

The Biggest Revelations in the David Beckham Documentary
Beckham with Stitches | Source: Youtube

The incident sparked a media frenzy and marked the beginning of the end of Beckham’s career at Manchester United. He was transferred to Real Madrid the following summer, where he faced new challenges and pressures.

He also revealed that he never had a proper farewell with Ferguson, whom he regarded as a father figure. As such, Beckham had not had a very good relationship with any of the managers he had worked with.

If not for his transfer to Real Madrid, he may have played at United for a longer time. It would be more apt to call him a United legend, then. Whether or not he’s a United legend will remain debatable forever.

10. About Beckham

Beckham is a four-part mini documentary series that explores the life and career of one of the most famous and influential footballers of all time, David Beckham.

The documentary, directed by Fisher Stevens and produced by John Battsek, features never-before-seen footage and interviews with Beckham’s family, friends, and former colleagues.

It was released on Netflix on October 4, 2023.

Pratyasha Sarkar

Pratyasha Sarkar

Officially a student of literature, but unofficially a defence lawyer of fictional characters. I am mostly either feasting on chocolate chip cookies or binge watching sitcoms. Also, I firmly believe mint ice cream tastes like toothpaste.


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