Mexican singer and actor Alfonso “Poncho” Herrera is preparing to bend it like Beckham on TV…
The 28-year-old former member of the Mexican pop group RBD will portray a professional soccer player seeking glory in the first original scripted series on Spanish-language sports cable network ESPN Deportes.
Entitled El Diez, the 10-episode series centers on Chava Espinoza, a young Mexican soccer player whose performance in the Under-20 World Cup makes him a star sought after by all of the world’s most important clubs.
“I played soccer since I was a little kid. I love soccer, and having to play this role is awesome,” says Herrera. “It’s a very realistic script and I truly believe nobody else has ever showed what’s behind the soccer industry the way El Diez does.”
The sports-themed novela will delve into Espinoza’s rise to fame—the highs and lows of being a superstar—and how he deals with the enormous burden of his fans’ expectations.
“In the story, Chava plays for a fictitious Mexican soccer team called Los Lobos del Atlético Nacional, but other than that all the stories showed in the episodes are completely real,” says series creator and producer Mauricio Quintana. “They show what happens inside the locker rooms and outside the field with the people that manage this incredibly profitable industry.”
The series—based on the real life experiences of former players, soccer team executives and sports journalists from Mexico, Spain and Argentina—will highlight issues like corruption, under-the-table negotiations and the invasion of privacy a soccer star faces.
“We show the audience all they want to see from the perspective of Latinos’ passion for soccer. There have been other movies that show the life of a soccer player in the British league or the league from Spain,” says Herrera. “But El Diez is completely made to give our audience what they want to see: Las Chivas, América teams and much more related to our Latino culture.”
The Spanish-language El Diez will be transmitted with English subtitles on Sundays at 9:00 pm ET on ESPN Deportes.