It is among a number of heavily scripted lines the former England captain delivers in a video that features on the Qatar Airways flights transporting tens of thousands of people to Doha for the World Cup. “It’s one of the best spice markets I’ve ever been to,” says the man who married a Spice Girl, before suggesting that “the modern and the traditional fuse to create something really special” in this Gulf state.
While estimates of exactly how much the Qataris are paying Beckham to be an ambassador for the tournament seem to range from £10 million to £150 million over ten years, the 30-minute film provides a measure of what he is prepared to do for money.
Clearly cash is important to him. This year’s Sunday Times Rich List estimated the value of the Beckham family fortune at £425 million, and there are some who believe he is driven by a desire to more than double that number and become the first billionaire footballer.
But this deal with the Qataris appears to be coming at a heavy reputational cost, judging by the criticism he has received for assisting the World Cup hosts in what amounts to a £200 billion exercise in sportswashing.
At the weekend the comedian Joe Lycett issued Beckham with an ultimatum, informing him in a social media post that has now had more than 3 million views that his “status as a gay icon will be shredded” unless he terminates his arrangement with Qatar before the tournament begins on Sunday.
Lycett, a LGBTQ campaigner, points out that homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, where it is “punishable by imprisonment and, if you’re Muslim, possibly even death”.
Eric Cantona tore into his former Manchester United team-mate in an interview with The Athletic in September and this week Gary Lineker told the BBC that it was not something he would have signed up to.
“I would say about David, he’s never really voiced his concerns about where the World Cup is,” Lineker said. “So, it’s not something he’s ever got involved in. So can you accuse him of being . . . he’s not hypocritical.
Manchester United legend and owner of US football club, David Beckham, has made a sensational move to lure embattled Manchester United star, Cristiano Ronaldo, to Inter Miami.
Beckham, who owns Inter Miami, has reportedly reached out to Ronaldo’s representatives for a transfer move from United.
According to The Sun UK, Ronaldo is said to be interested in the switch.
The PUNCH had earlier reported on Monday that Ronaldo, in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan, said he felt betrayed by Man United adding that he had no respect for manager, Erik ten Hag.
Although, United have said they are seeking legal advice before deciding their next move over the interview, there are speculations that Ronaldo’s time at Manchester has come to an end.
With the drama unfolding, Beckham has seized the opportunity to entice Ronaldo with a possible move to Miami.
Beckham has however mentioned before that he would love to bring Argentina superstar, Lionel Messi or Ronaldo to the MLS, adding that Messi remains his No 1 target.
37-year-old Ronaldo, is presently in Lisbon training with the Portugal squad ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup.