As the 2014 Fifa World Cup kicked off in Brazil, celebrity athlete David Beckham reminisced about his past glory. He shared his sentiments prior to the Friday premiere of Showtime’s documentary titled David Beckham Into the Unknown, which follows the footballer on a journey of self-discovery in the Brazilian rainforest.
“The thing I miss most is playing for England,” said Beckham. “Playing for and representing the country was my dream,” he added. Retiring from professional football in 2013 after 22 years on the field, the 39 year old decided to travel with three friends on motorcycles across Brazil, traversing the Amazon to meet an indigenous Brazilian tribe and mulling over his life post-retirement.
In the documentary, Beckham muses on his retirement as he camps out in hammocks and sleeps in shanty farm houses. “I think people will expect that if I make a documentary, it would be solely about football,” he said. “We wanted to do something different and introduce parts of Brazil that we were exploring to the people.”
In the 90-minute-long film, Beckham contemplates his celebrity status, wondering if he’ll be recognised in remote areas that he travels through. “I didn’t think I would be recognised once we got deep into the Amazon and the tribe and obviously, I was right and that was refreshing,” he shared.
Family crops up regularly throughout the trip for Beckham, who has been married for 15 years and is a father of four. In the film, he reflects on the “selfish” choices he made during his career that took him away from his family, such as playing on loan for AC Milan while he was with LA Galaxy.
“Athletes who have played the game at the highest level for so many years [encounter moments] where they feel they can [re-emerge],” he shares. But the former footballer said he is happy to be on the sidelines now, with most of his efforts being invested into being a dad and establishing a soccer club in Miami.
Born and raised in East London, Beckham quickly became a star soccer player. From playing for Manchester United to England’s national team, he cemented a glittering career on the field.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2014.