PARIS: The David Beckham circus took Paris by storm as the former England captain arrived to join Paris Saint-Germain and brought a new level of excitement to the French game writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Beckham signed a five-month deal after passing his medical and revealed that it was never about the money since all of his salary will go to a local children’s charity in Paris.
He also revealed that among a string of offers were a raft from English Premier League clubn.
However he had never been tempted to play again in England even though his family are now settled back in the UK after the California adventure with Los Angeles Galaxy.
PSG owner Nasser Khelaifi introduced Beckham to the French – and international – media and said that negotiations had not been finalised until 11am this morning.
“It’s a big day,” said Khelaifi. “We’ve been trying to get him for a long time and finally we did it.
“He’ll be with us in our big project to try to reach our big dream to become one of the best clubs in Europe. David is very professional player inside and outside of the pitch and I’m sure he will add big value to the club.”
Beckham, pressed to speak some French, said only: “Bonjour,” but added: “I’ll have to brush up on it but I’m excited. This is something we’ve been talking about for quite a while. My wife and children will be staying in London because the children go to school there now but we’re all excited as a family.”
The ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid forward then explained why he had chosen to accept the offer from PSG and whether he thought he was still
He said: “I’m very lucky that, at 37, I got a lot of offers, more than in all my career [but] I chose Paris because I can see what the club are trying to do and the players they are bringing in.
“It’s an exciting city but now there is a club that’s going to have a lot of success over the next 10, 15, 20 years. To be part of something that’s growing is very exciting to me so I’m very honoured to be part of the future of Paris Saint-Germain.
“Also, I’d always said I wouldn’t want to play for another English club. Manchester United were the team I’d always dreamed of playing for. I’m very honoured by the offers I had from other Premiership teams but I wouldn’t want to play there if it wasn’t for Manchester United.”
Beckham remained confident about his fitness level and playing standard.
He said: “Ive a lot of experince, I’m 37, I’ve won 13 14 championships in my career, played for some of the biggest clubs in the world and with some of the best players in the world.
“I can still run around and play like when I was 21, I’ve not lost any of my pace because, to be honest, I never had a lot so that hasn’t changed.
“There was also the lure of working with [PSG coach] Carlo Ancelotti and [general manager] Leo [Leonardo] again. I was lucky in working with Carlo and Leo for a few months in Milan and Carlo is one of the best managers I’ve played for so it’s exciting on a number of levels.”
As for the donation of his salary, Beckham said: “It’s one of the reasons I wanted to come to Paris because, with Nasser and Leo, we decided on something that’s quite unique.
“Throughout this time I won’t receive any salary. My salary will go towards a childrens charity in Paris and that’s one of the things we’re very excied and proud to be able to do.”