David Beckham is opening up on how much the criticism he received from supporters who believed he was to blame for England's early elimination from the 1998 World Cup affected him 25 years later.
“I wish there was a pill that you could take that could erase certain memories,” the soccer star, 48, notes in the second episode of the Netflix docuseries Beckham. “I made a stupid mistake.”
He adds, “It changed my life.”
For those unversed, in 1998 England lost the game, and many fans lost their heads. Beckham's "mistake" was receiving a red card for kicking Argentina's captain Diego Simeone after the player had pushed him to the ground.
According to the documentary, someone hurled a TV through a third-floor window and Beckham was demonised in tabloid headlines and by analysts for his World Cup performance, which was called "childish, petulant," and "stupid."
“Wherever I went, I got abused, every single day,” he says, swallowing hard. “To walk down the street and see people look at you in a certain way, spit at you, abuse you, come up to your face and say some of the things that they said. That’s difficult.”
He adds, “The whole country hated me.”
Beckham begins streaming on Netflix on October 4.
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