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FOOTBALL

Media frenzy greets Beckham’s first day

A fortnight ago he was announced as Paris Saint-Germain's blockbuster mid-season signing. On Wednesday, English football icon David Beckham's first day of training in Paris once again sent the French media into full circus mode.

Media frenzy greets Beckham's first day
Paris Saint Germain players train at Camp des Loges in July, 2011. Photo: PSGMag

Could this be the most hyped first day at work that France has ever seen?

According to reports on Wednesay, 150 journalists have come from ten different countries, just to stand on the sidelines of PSG’s Camp des Loges training ground, “the centre of the universe for a few hours”, as 365 Sport France labelled it.

The reason? The first appearance in a PSG kit of a certain David. Beckham, whose arrival in Paris on January 31st caused such a media storm in France.

Becks, as he is being called with increasing affection in France, already caused a stir with his presence at PSG’s Champions League second-round victory over Spanish club Valencia on Tuesday evening.

365 Sport – which started a live blog for the 3pm  training session four hours before it was due to begin – breathlessly noted that “he even stood up from his seat for [PSG’s] two goals.”

French daily Le Parisien documented the former England captain’s itinerary from the last few days – New York, London, Valencia, and Paris – down to the exact time that he checked in at his hotel before Tuesday evening’s match in Spain (11.25 am, in case you were wondering.)

For their part, France TV 3 were set to send not one, but two correspondents to the training ground.

The club itself has been slightly more muted in its comments to the French media. PSG’s coach Carlo Ancelotti told RMC Sport – which, not to be outdone, started its live blog at 8am on Wednesday – that Beckham had settled in well with his teammates.

“I’m sure he’ll help the team, he’s mixing well with the group,” said the Italian. “I don’t know if he’ll play against [Ligue 1 club] Sochaux this weekend. He still has to train and I still have to see him with his teammates, but I’m optimistic.” 

Once today's mayhem is over, anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of France's newly-arrived superstar should consult our guide to David Beckham's possible Parisian hangouts.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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