In the summer of 2003, David Beckham made transfer history by moving from Manchester United to Real Madrid. The move represented the biggest challenge of Beckham's career. Real Madrid was the most successful football club ever, whose trophy record was unrivalled around the world. Beckham had to prove he was more than just a brand and was worthy of playing in a team that had gathered the leading stars from across the globe.
Spain, for its part, had never encountered an Englishman quite like David Beckham.
Jimmy Burns follows Beckham during his first dramatic season with Real Madrid within the broader context of the club and Spain, recalling his own memories of growing up in a fast-changing country where politics, culture and football have always been linked.