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Speaking with Ben Winston of Fulwell 73 Productions, the Emmy-winning producer of The Late Late Show With James Corden in a prerecorded interview, Beckham reflected back on the high- and lowlights of his career behind a ball and in front of a camera.
The talk, which posted on MIPTV’s site Tuesday, was timed to the launch of Beckham’s new production company, Studio 99, which is hitting the market with a slate of documentaries and factual series. Earlier Tuesday, Beckham confirmed he was working with Disney+ on the factual series Save our Squad, in which the former Manchester United star will mentor a young grassroots soccer team as they struggle to survive in their local league. Co-produced by Twenty Twenty and Beckham’s own Studio 99 shingle, the series will be executive produced by Sean Doyle for Disney+, part of the streamer’s push into original content for its European service.
Other projects currently in production and development at Studio 99 include A Whole New Ball Game, a documentary series for the BBC charting the contemporary history of the English Premier League from regional soccer league to global entertainment powerhouse, and World War Shoe, a documentary miniseries about the untold familial feud that led to the corporate rivalry of sports brands Adidas and Puma.
Beckham noted that, inspired by Netflix’s Michael Jordan documentary series The Last Dance, he is also planning what he hopes will be the definitive David Beckham biopic.
“We are just putting the team together now; we haven’t decided on the director yet,” Beckham said, “but I only want to do this once, and I think now is the right time to do it.”
First out of the gate for Studio 99 will be Inside Inter Miami, a behind-the-scenes sports documentary along the lines of Fulwell 73’s Sunderland Till I Die that will look at how Beckham helped build the MLS soccer franchise from the ground up.
“I like to keep busy,” Beckham quipped.
Television production was the official topic of conversation, but die-hard soccer fan Winston (his company’s name, Fulwell 73, is an homage to England’s Sunderland football club) repeatedly steered the interview back to sports, quizzing Beckham on the brightest and darkest moments of his long, storied career on the pitch.
Asked to name his one standout soccer moment, Beckham picked two: his 1996 half-line goal for Manchester United against Wimbledon in 1996 — “It was the moment people recognized me, not just in the game but outside the game” — and, as captain of the England squad, his last-minute strike against Greece that sent England to the 2002 World Cup finals.
“I’ve never felt an emotion like it,” Beckham said, recalling that moment at Wembley Stadium. “It was probably the most emotional moment in my career.”
In perhaps the most telling moment of the half-hour talk, Winston asked Beckham if, after all that he’s achieved in the entertainment and business world since leaving soccer, he still misses the game.
“I miss it every single day. There’s not a day I don’t wake up wanting to go to training to be in that environment,” Beckham said, his voice plaintive. “In terms of missing football, I don’t think that will ever go away. At 45, I’m still convinced I can play at the top of the game — which of course I couldn’t. But I’m still convinced I could.”
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