• France edition
 
Paris St-Germain lure Beckham to France
David Beckham (right) and his wife Victoria (left). The footballer is set to sign for PSG on Thursday, according to media reports. File photo: friskytuna/flickr

Paris St-Germain lure Beckham to France

Published: 31 Jan 2013 12:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Jan 2013 12:41 GMT+01:00

Former England captain David Beckham has signed a five-month deal to join big-spending French club PSG, the French club announced on Thursday. The 37-year-old former Manchester United and LA Galaxy player passed a medical at the Pitie-Salptriere Hospital in Paris and was officially unveiled at a press conference at the Parc des Princes at 5pm Paris time.

The deal will keep Beckham at the club until June.

In an extraordinary development, Beckham revealed during an official PSG press conference on Thursday evening that he would be donating his entire five months' salary to a children's charity in France. "It's not something that's ever been done before," said Beckham, "but it's a decision we arrived at together, and it's something I'm very excited about."

The footballer has long been linked with the Qatari owned French club and was on the verge of a move this time last year before he pulled the plug, deciding instead to remain in the US with his club LA Galaxy.

The club's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and the club's director of football Leonardo have coveted the Englishman for a while, and this time they finally got their man. Up to 12 clubs were linked with Beckham since he left LA Galaxy in December and at one point it looked second division French club Monaco were favourites to land the player, known as 'Spice Boy in France.

"I got more offers from more clubs than I ever have before," said the former England captain.

According to reports in the French press, his wife Victoria and their four children are expected to remain in London rather than move to Paris, though at this evening's press conference Beckham suggested he himself would stay at a hotel in Paris, rather than find an apartment. "I won't be telling any of you where it is, either," he joked.

League leaders PSG have already shelled out millions putting together a squad that includes Sweden international Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brazilian wonderkid Lucas Moura plus compatriot Thiago Silva. Beckham will join their ranks, but whether he can nail down a place in the first team remains to be seen.

No doubt his status as a global superstar will be welcomed by the club's marketing department.

Beckham's arrival, which comes as a surprise on the last day of the transfer window, has sent the French sporting press into a bit of a frenzy.

"Beckham signs for PSG!" was the headline on sports daily L'Equipe's website as the unexpected news broke.

The star's switch to the city of light has been welcomed by some supporters of the Paris club.

"Beckham will bring his winning mentality and professionalism to the team," PSG fan Nicolas Lartigue told The Local. "He won't play every game but his crosses and free kicks will be a real bonus.

"Ok he's a bit of a grandpa in the world of football but he will be brilliant for the PSG brand, especially in Asia".

Beckham was cheerful when asked about his age on Thursday evening: "It feels very good to be in Paris, at a club like this, and to be the 'Elder Statesman' of the league. I still feel great, most days. I still feel 21 years old."

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Paying ransoms
France 'world’s top payer' of ransoms for hostages
Did France pay a ransom to free four hostages who spent three years in captivity. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

France 'world’s top payer' of ransoms for hostages

France has paid out $58 million to free hostages since 2008, putting it top of the world rankings for ransom payments, according to a media report. Although the French government has angrily denied the claims, critics says the policy is creating a lucrative hostage industry. READ  

Tired French burglar falls asleep during break-in
A sleeping French burglar woke up to the police. Photo: Quinn.anya/Flickr

Tired French burglar falls asleep during break-in

A suspected burglar took a nap while robbing a house in France this week and when he woke up the police were waiting for him. It’s just the latest case of criminals choosing an inopportune time to nod off. READ  

Nudity on the beaches of France: Dos and don'ts
Here's what you need to know about getting naked on French beaches. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP

Nudity on the beaches of France: Dos and don'ts

France is world famous for its topless and nudist beaches, even if French ladies are increasingly keeping their swim suits on. Here’s what you need to know about dropping your top (or bottoms) on French beaches. READ  

Peeing man drowns after being pushed into Seine
Police are looking for whoever pushed a man from behind into the River Seine, leading to him drowning. Photo: Dany13/Flickr

Peeing man drowns after being pushed into Seine

A man drowned in the River Seine early on Wednesday in Paris after he was pushed into the water from behind while he was peeing, French media reported. Police aren’t sure if it was a prank gone wrong or a violent reprisal. READ  

France pulls French and British out of Libya
Libyan security services and civilians gather across the street after a car bomb attack on the French embassy in Tripoli, Libya on April 23rd, 2013. Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP

France pulls French and British out of Libya

The French government announced on Wednesday that it had pulled around 50 French and British nationals out of Libya. Paris's decision to evacuate its nationals comes amid a rise in violence in the strife-torn North African country. READ  

'Museum shooter' faces terrorism murder charge
Terror-related murder charges have been filed against a Frenchman for the Belgian museum killings. Photo: AFP

'Museum shooter' faces terrorism murder charge

Prosecutors have charged a Frenchman with "murder in a terrorist context" for the attack on a Jewish museum in Belgium that left four people dead. The suspect spent a year fighting alongside Islamist militants in Syria before returning to Europe. READ  

French sites pillaged by wannabe archaeologist
A Frenchman is in a big trouble for using his metal detector to 'pillage' archaeological sites. Photo: Jesshg/Flickr

French sites pillaged by wannabe archaeologist

A wannabe archaeologist is on trial in France accused of looting some of the country’s best historical sites after being caught with thousands of ancient artifacts. Experts say France is facing an epidemic of archaeological pillaging. READ  

French celebrate freedom from hungry tax man
French workers are now free from the tax man until the end of the year, according to an economic study. Photo: AFP

French celebrate freedom from hungry tax man

French workers can now celebrate being free from the burden of the tax man because for the rest of the year, they won’t pay another cent in taxes, an economic study claims. The Belgians however still have a bit of work to do. READ  

Gaza crisis
Jewish groups call for Pro-Israel march in Paris
Up to 6,000 pro-Israel protesters march through Marseille. Paris will see its own pro-Israel march take place on Thursday. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP.

Jewish groups call for Pro-Israel march in Paris

France’s main Jewish organisation has appealed to all the “friends of Israel” to turn out for a rally outside the Israeli embassy in Paris on Thursday. It comes as Muslim groups call for a right-wing Jewish militant organisation to be banned in France. READ  

Air France strike set to hit holidaymakers
Travellers set for disruption after Air France staff called a strike for Saturday. Photo:Shutterstock

Air France strike set to hit holidaymakers

Air France flights to and from France are set to be severely disrupted on Saturday after several unions called on workers to go on strike. The industrial action could cause misery for many holidaymakers. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Why are the days of going topless in France coming to an end?
Travel
Reckless or adventurous? US dad takes his two children up Mont Blanc
National
From manure to money: Ten bizarre facts about the French Parliament
Culture
Tourists picnic with rats in Louvre gardens
International
Is France really Europe's biggest public spenders?
National
Could your job in France soon be done by a robot?
National
Why you should think twice about feeding stray cats in France
National
And the new redrawn map of France will look like...?
Politics
Is French President François Hollande about to tie the knot?
International
Want a long-term visa? You may soon have to take a French test
International
Votes for foreigners: 'France would be giving up its sovereignty'
National
VIDEO: Stuntman jumps onto a moving Paris metro... and survives
Gallery
Forget 'faire l'amour', here's 15 top French expressions for making love
National
Report - 'Anti-Semitic' riots in France: 'We may leave for Israel'
National
Paris Plages: Here's 10 reasons to head down to the city beach
International
'Mont Blanc is like Disneyland. It's time to end the free-for-all'
Travel
Fancy climbing Mont Blanc? Here's 10 reasons to think twice about it
Gallery
Looking for a weird museum in Paris? Here's 10 that are worth a visit
National
Clear your head: Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
National
'Don't blame the labour market for France's unemployment woes!'
National
Job applicants in France: Be prepared to send in an anonymous CV
Sport
'Bouligans' to booze bans: Ten things you need to know about pétanque
Gallery
Driving in France: How to stay out of trouble on the roads
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se