Soccer player David Beckham to star in BBC documentary film

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By LEO BARRACLOUGH, Variety

LONDON -- Soccer player David Beckham will star in the documentary film "David Beckham: For the Love of the Game," which has been commissioned by the BBC. The film will see Beckham play soccer in seven continents.

The 90-minute film follows Beckham on a journey to the villages of Papua New Guinea, the foothills of Nepal, the streets of Buenos Aires, the desert plains of Djibouti, the manicured pitches of Miami and the frozen wastelands of Antarctica, where he will play soccer with local people, and learn about their lives. He will travel with childhood friend Dave Gardner.

Off the pitch, Beckham and Gardner will explore the lives of those who struggle to make a living in environments that present a daily challenge as well as those who get to live the dream when they make it to the big leagues. The journey ends at Old Trafford, the home ground of Beckham's former club Manchester United, where he plays his final game with a host of well-known soccer players to bid farewell to the game.

The film will "showcase a rich and varied tapestry of characters, all linked together by one game, seeking to discover what the game means across the globe and whether it still has the power to transform lives as it did for him," the BBC said Monday.

Beckham said: "I remember sitting on a plane and discussing this idea with friends, and never thinking it would become a reality. I'm genuinely excited now we can realize this ambitious idea. Whether as a player or out in the field for UNICEF and other charitable partners, I have seen the transformational effect that sport, and in particular football, has on people's lives. This epic journey will allow me to show the positive side of the game I love and shine a light on the passion and selflessness of people that play this sport as a force for good."

The show is jointly commissioned by the BBC and its sales arm, BBC Worldwide, which will distribute the program, and produced by Big Earth Productions. This is the second documentary that Beckham has made for the BBC. Last year "David Beckham into the Unknown" was a global hit with BBC Worldwide distributing the program to more than 165 countries.

See photos of David Beckham with his children:

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The Beckhams and their children
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Soccer player David Beckham to star in BBC documentary film
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 16: (L-R) Romeo Beckham, Harper Beckham and David Beckham attend the Burberry 'London in Los Angeles' event at Griffith Observatory on April 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Burberry)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: David Beckham and Harper Beckham are seen in Soho on September 10, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Victoria Beckham, David Beckham, Brooklyn Beckham get lunch at Balthazar in Soho on September 13, 2015 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 16: (L-R) Cruz Beckham, Romeo Beckham and Victoria Beckham attend the Burberry 'London in Los Angeles' event at Griffith Observatory on April 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Burberry)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 30: Cruz Beckham (L) and David Beckham attend Game Six of the Western Conference Final during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on May 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: David Beckham and Harper Beckham are seen in Soho on February 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: (L-R) David Beckham, Romeo Beckham, Brooklyn Beckham, Cruz Beckham and Victoria Beckham attend the world premiere of 'The Class of 92' at the Odeon West End on December 1, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Brooklyn Beckham (L) and Victoria Beckham arrive at the Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year awards at Claridge's Hotel on November 5, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: David Beckham and daughter Harper are seen in Soho on September 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 28: Harper Beckham (L) and David Beckham attend an NHL playoff game between the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on May 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 04: Victoria Beckham and her daughter Harper Seven are seen arriving at the 'BONTON' store on May 4, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Paul Hubble/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 21: Victoria Beckham and her son Romeo James are seen leaving the 'NIKE' store on the Champs-Elysees Avenue on April 21, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 21: (L-R) David Beckham and Harper Beckham attend a hockey game between the Calgary Flames and the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on October 21, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Brooklyn Beckham (L) and Victoria Beckham attend the Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year awards at Claridge's Hotel on November 5, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: David Beckham and Harper Beckham are seen in Soho on February 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: David Beckham and Harper Beckham are seen on September 10, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: David Beckham and Harper Beckham are seen in Vesuvio Playground in Soho on September 10, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: David Beckham and Harper Beckham are seen on September 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 27: David Beckham (R) and daughter Harper Beckham attend a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: David Beckham and daughter Harper Beckham are seen in SoHo on February 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
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