David Beckham’s Infamous Red Card Reenacted By Robots Nearly 20 Years Later

Insert cringe-worthy "Bend It Like Beckham" reference here.

David Beckham’s infamous red card in the Round of 16 at the 1998 World Cup was a defining moment in the flamboyant midfielder’s career. Some robots are hoping for a similar trajectory.

Beckham, then a gorgeous 23-year-old yet to settle down with Mrs. Posh Spice, was knocked to the ground by a heavy challenge from Diego Simeone in the second half of a 2-2 match. From his stomach, Beckham petulantly flung out a leg at Simeone. He was duly sent off and cost England a spot in the quarterfinals as La Albiceleste won as everyone does against England: on penalties.

Nearly 20 years later, robots have been spotting trying to kick it like Beckham.

Like Beckham


Beckham’s poorly disguised kick-out at Simeone was easily spotted by the nearby referee. But watch how this robot pretends to be pulling himself off the turf when he kicks the fellow machine. 

Perhaps the robots have also been training with Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an expertly crafted kick against Atletico Madrid in 2013. 

It’s easy to see why these robots are emulating Beckham and Ronaldo — they favor style as much as substance. Who cares if a robot can finish as clinically as Lionel Messi if he doesn’t have the beauty of Becks or the physique of Ronaldo?

Unfortunately, Ronaldo, Beckham and this robot were all given red cards. The robot was sold off and will live out a horrific life at a local elementary school, though no more ignominious an end to a career than a cameo role in King Arthur.

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