David Beckham has embarked on an epic global challenge. The sports hero plans to play seven football matches on seven continents, travelling from a mountain village in Asia to the frozen wastes of Antarctica. David's mission, which he is documenting on social media with the hashtag #LoveOfTheGame, is to raise awareness for UNICEF.
The father-of-four came up with the idea as a way of celebrating 10 years as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Seven was the number he played with as a footballer and the name of his charity foundation.
His first stop on Thursday was the unexplored jungle of Papua New Guinea in Oceania, where he had the novel experience of making a ball out of banana leaves. From there the 40-year-old will travel on to Nepal in Asia – all the while followed by BBC cameras for a 90-minute documentary.
David will then face local teams on the streets of Buenos Aires (South America), Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, Miami in North America and frozen Antarctica.
His tour will finish at his former home Old Trafford, where he played for many years with Manchester United and where he will raise funds for UNICEF. David has called on a number of international stars to play the final game with him. He will captain the Great British XI against Zinedine Zidane's Rest of the World.
The adventure explains why David was absent when his son Romeo launched his latest Christmas advert for Burberry, supported by the rest of the Beckham clan, including Victoria, on Tuesday. However, the retired player wouldn't have wanted to miss this chance to help other children.
"I remember sitting on a plane and discussing this idea with friends and never thinking it would become a reality," said the former England international. "I'm genuinely excited now we can realise 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.”