To write something that has not already been written or said is no mean feat if the subject goes by the name of David Beckham. However, Netflix seems to have achieved the almost impossible with its upcoming docuseries: a background on the Beckhams with a whole host of previously unseen photos and videos, as well as newspaper clippings and school report cards proudly collected by the football icon since the beginning when, at the tender age of sixteen, he was called up by Manchester United. There will also be contributions from his former teammates, including Cristiano Ronaldo, and his children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before becoming the David Beckham brand, David, like all stars, begins to shine and does so on the football field where his talent is beyond question, so much so that his name is given to the “David Beckham Freekick”. Technically a midfielder and captain of his own national team, he arrives at Real Madrid in 2003 when the already turbulent relationship with manager Alex Ferguson culminates with a boot to the face in the dressing room and two stitches above the Spice Boy’s eye. This is followed by stints in Los Angeles with L.A. Galaxy, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, his last team before he hangs up his boots in 2013, after a respectable twenty-year career. For the second half, he has taken up the position of entrepreneur: he is currently the owner of Inter Miami CF and founder of Footwork Management.
“Love on a shoestring” is clearly not an option for David and Victoria, made even more evident by the fact that every change of team was marked by a media event founded on the desires of the former Posh Spice who, and no one could fault her for it, has no place in her dictionary for the verb to make do. This mindset is further epitomised in their concept of home, a house in Hertfordshire that they have owned for nearly two decades. In reality, their home is an opulent marble and velvet palace with an undetermined number of rooms and bathrooms, gym, swimming pool, recording studio, helipad and 24 acres of land that earned it the nickname of Beckingham Palace.
The latest addition to their real estate portfolio, valued at over 60 million pounds, is an apartment in Miami in the super-luxury skyscraper designed by Zaha Hadid; but the real gem are the three floors of a Victorian building in Holland Park in the heart of London where they currently live, save for the current Covid-19 situation for which there is the country cottage in the Cotswolds, where they already look certain to surpass themselves with expanses of lakes and artificial islands.
There’s also no denying that Becks won the beauty lottery, although he doesn’t leave it all to genetics, and looks after himself with training, diet, skincare and a style that sets trends, not follows them. Especially when he was a footballer, every new hair makeover, and there were many, was front page news. He puts his name to collections, provides powerful testimonials and has even dipped his toe into modelling – Giorgio Armani was the first to cast him for an underwear campaign that has remained in the annals of advertising history.
In addition, he has his own line of fragrances, as well as partnering with L’Oréal in their range for men, House 99. In short, the universe beyond the football pitch accounts for a sizeable chunk of his income. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling, even if he only accepted minor roles, perhaps thanks to his friendship with Guy Ritchie.
The children look up to their dad so much that he was the one tasked with taking charge of their distance learning during the first lockdown. For his support of UNICEF, he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, while the rank of Lord fell through due to fears of tax avoidance by the tax agency. When all’s said and done, if England didn’t have the Royal Family, it would still have the Beckhams.
Article edit by Claudia Chiari