David Beckham is England's noble fan in Qatar. However, the football legend is primarily on site on business - as a highly paid World Cup ambassador. The world star even shoots commercials for the emirate. Other ex-professionals are also being paid for their services to the controversial state and FIFA.
David Beckham cheered in fine twins in the VIP stand, having previously enjoyed the company of FIFA President Gianni Infantino. At the start of the World Cup in Qatar, the English football icon felt just as happy as Lothar Matthäus did a few days later - probably not just because of the Three Lions' 6-2 thrashing of Iran. After all, the 47-year-old Beckham cashed in heavily in Qatar.
As the official World Cup ambassador, Beckham is a regular guest in the emirate. A promotional video in which he admires the skyline of Doha while sitting on a motorboat has become well-known. Beckham had previously visited a few fancy restaurants and stadiums. On the other hand, he gave a wide berth to the dwellings of the guest workers - the pictures would hardly have fit into his 30-minute commercial for Qatar.
Beckham is to receive ten million pounds (approx. 11.5 million euros) annually for vigorously stirring the advertising drum. He is not alone: Matthäus, Cafu, Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o, Ronald de Boer and Barcelona coach Xavi also call themselves World Cup ambassadors - whether paid or not is unclear in some cases. Criticism from their mouths? none.
The World Cup exerts "a fascination", said Matthäus, for example, when he made his commitment to Qatar public. For the world champion captain of 1990, the task is not entirely new. Already at the 2018 World Cup in Russia he was one of the so-called FIFA "legends". At that time, Matthäus also appeared in the Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin, which brought him a lot of criticism.
Beckham was also exposed to a veritable shitstorm after his video. "He's selling his soul for blood money," British activist Peter Tatchell wrote on Twitter. The human rights organization Amnesty International asked Beckham to also speak about the human rights situation in Qatar. So far in vain.