• 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
Does France really suffer from a brain drain?
France may not be suffering from a brain drain after all, but it's not as attractive as the UK or Germany. Photo: Leaving.

Does France really suffer from a brain drain?

The latest European Union figures cast a bit of doubt on worries the moribund French economy is prompting a mass brain drain. However the stats do suggest France is far less attractive than the UK and Germany when it comes to certain professions. READ  

French cities struggle with bedbug infestations
Bed bugs are biting in France. Photo: Shutterstock

French cities struggle with bedbug infestations

The infestation of French cities by bed bugs is worse than ever before with hygiene services overwhelmed, according to reports. READ  

IMF board to review Lagarde's legal problems
IMF chief Christine Lagarde's situation is to be reviewed after she was placed under investigation. Photo: AFP

IMF board to review Lagarde's legal problems

International Monetary Fund board members will meet "as soon as possible" to review the situation of their chief Christine Lagarde, who was placed under formal investigation in Paris this week for alleged "negligence". READ  

Champions League
PSG drawn in same group as Barcelona
Photo: AFP

PSG drawn in same group as Barcelona

PSG were paired with Barcelona in Group F of the Champions League when the draw for the group stages was made on Thursday. France's other representative Monaco were handed a much easier draw, at least on paper. READ  

Guest blog - France Profonde
France profonde: Rural idyll or backwater hell?
Life in Rural France: Is it heaven or hell or just what you make of it? Photo: Shutterstock

France profonde: Rural idyll or backwater hell?

Does life in rural France offer the peace and quiet that you've always dreamed about or is it a quick route to loneliness and isolation? Annecy-based writer Amaryllis Barton takes a closer look. READ  

Calais migrants crisis
France to demand UK help ease Calais crisis
France says they'll be no new shelter for migrants in Calais. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

France to demand UK help ease Calais crisis

France's Interior Minister has dismissed the prospect of a new mass shelter in Calais to house homeless migrants trying to smuggle themselves into the UK. But the so-called top cop plans to ask British authorities to "accept their responsibilities" for the ongoing crisis. READ  

Pitt and Jolie tie the knot secretly in France
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie marry in France in a low-key ceremony. Photo: AFP

Pitt and Jolie tie the knot secretly in France

Celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got married in secret in France at the weekend in a low key ceremony at their château. It was in stark contrast to Kanye West's and Kim Kardashian's pre-nuptial celebrations in Paris earlier this year. READ  

Ex-French cop blasts Diana's 'DIY' security
An ex-French cop has bashed the 'inadequate' security Diana had the night she was killed in Paris. Photo: John Stillwell/AFP

Ex-French cop blasts Diana's 'DIY' security

In his new book the ex-Paris cop who guarded Princess Diana’s corpse the night she was killed, says the “icon” had an inadequate “DIY” security detail which contributed to the tragic outcome. READ  

The French words you can't translate literally
Can you let me know where I can buy a "throat support"? Bra photo: Shutterstock

The French words you can't translate literally

The French language has a plethora of words that if you translated literally into English could cause a fair bit of confusion and hilarity for language learners. From "throat support" to "mouth fun", we've picked out some of the best. Let us know of any more. READ  

Air France pilots set for week-long strike
Air France pilots have warned of a major strike in September. Photo: Tab59/Flickr

Air France pilots set for week-long strike

More travel chaos could be on the way now that Air France pilots have said they will strike for at least a week in September over their concerns about a reorganization of the international carrier. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The French words you can't translate literally
National
Ten things you need to know about France's economics whizzkid
International
VIDEO: Watch the top five street scams to avoid in Paris
Politics
Take a look at the bulging to-do list that awaits France's new government
Politics
Six questions for France after Hollande ousts rebels
International
Choosing schools in France: Do you go international or French?
Gallery
From kissing to bad-mouthing: Ten ways expats in France drive you mad
Culture
Ten things you need to know about the Liberation of Paris:
Travel
Watch this impressive time lapse video and you'll want to move to Paris
National
Veiled Muslim woman on a French beach prompts politician's angry rant
Travel
Forget Paris and Provence where are the least touristy areas of France?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The battle to liberate Paris from the Nazis
National
What France means to you in just one tweet
National
15 French 'false friends' you need to watch out for
International
12 reasons to invest in Paris and seven not to
National
French hamlet 'Death to Jews' mulls name change
National
French tourist caught in Pompeii brothel romp
International
'Forget the Anglo-media's image of France, the reality is much different'
Culture
VIDEO: Francophile Robin Williams enjoyed poking fun at the French
Travel
Six reasons why France is the world's top tourist destination
International
Remembering the 'forgotten campaign' in the liberation of France
Gallery
VIDEO: French bucket list - The 12 best things to do in France
International
Do three French cities deserve to be in top 10 "World 's Most Unfriendly"?
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