After receiving up to a dozen offers from all corners of the world, David Beckham ended months of speculation by announcing his decision to sign for Paris St Germain on the final day of the transfer window. Manager Carlo Ancelotti managed to persuade the 37 year old Englishman to join the Ligue 1 revolution, and join his squad in their quest to claim the league title and progress in the Champions League.
Beckham arrived in Paris for an official press conference on Thursday afternoon, and was greeted by crowds of fans and journalists alike. It was confirmed that Beckham will sign until the end of the season, before discussing his future. The former England captain is keen to play on for as long as he can, stating that ‘I don’t know if this will be my last contract’. One journalist jokingly informed Beckham that he will become the oldest player in Ligue 1, which was greeted by a smile and the response that ‘if I can give any advice to any of the players in the league, then great’.
Beckham, the father of four children himself, then made the surprise announcement that his salary for the next five months will go towards a local children’s charity in Paris. He always stated that his next move would be for footballing reasons only, and his generous offer, which will see him receive no salary at all during his contract, has only confirmed his intentions. The exact figure of his salary has not been released, but Beckham stated that ‘obviously, it’s a very good figure’.
Beckham also informed the press that he will not be ready to play for a couple of weeks, even though he has been training with Arsenal in the past week. Despite his superstar status, he may not be guaranteed a place in the first team at PSG. His traditional right wing position is currently occupied by Brazilian international Lucas Moura, while Javier Pastore has also operated on the right of midfield this season. During his time at LA Galaxy, Beckham was played in a deeper, central midfield role, a position that is currently filled by Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta. The dead ball specialist may need to be content with a squad role, and to act as a mentor for the younger members of the side.
Either way, the move is perfect for both parties. With PSG currently at the top of Ligue 1, and in the last 16 of the Champions League, Beckham can fulfil his ambitions to carry on playing at the highest level of football. The Paris club can use Beckham for both his talents on the pitch as well as his experience and professionalism in assisting to nurture the younger talent on the training field. Indeed, French football as a whole can only become stronger with the arrival of another star name to join Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Ezequiel Lavezzi, by raising the profile of the league in order to attract more players of that calibre. The arrival of David Beckham in France is already set to benefit his team mates and thousands of disadvantaged children in Paris, and if all goes to plan, Beckham will end his 5 month contract with a title medal in yet another country to add to his collection.