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FOOTBALL

Beckham revels in ‘special’ debut for PSG

David Beckham admitted his goal-producing, 15-minute Paris Saint-Germain cameo was a special moment for a footballer long written off as nothing more than an advertising man's storyboard.

Beckham revels in 'special' debut for PSG
David Beckham enjoys a winning start to his five-month long stint at PSG. Photo : Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

The 37-year-old former England captain shivered on the Parc des Princes bench for 75 minutes on Sunday before being summoned back into the limelight where he inevitably had the final word.

A neat one-two with Jeremy Menez in injury-time allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic the chance to tuck away the goal that sealed a 2-0 win over bitter rivals Marseille which preserved PSG's three-point lead in France.

"The welcome before the match and when I came on was fantastic. To get the chance at my age to play in a great championship and in a great team, I'm very proud and happy," said the ex-Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy man.

"It's fantastic to be amongst these super players."

Beckham, who is on a contract until the end of the season and is donating his $1 million salary to a Paris children's charity, said he had not been disappointed to have been left on the bench.

"I always knew that coming here, at my age and in the transfer window, I didn't expect to start. But that remains the objective."

Wife Victoria braved the freezing temperatures up in the stands to watch her husband, dubbed Le Spice Boy by some sections of the French media, make another debut for another club.

Her cool exterior in the dusting of snow which swept across the ground was in marked contrast to the boyish enthusiasm of her husband who even patiently gave a touchline interview, translated into French by his questioner, as he watched from the bench.

"It was a good debut. It was a very special evening for me. When you come on and it's 1-0, you know it can go either way," said Beckham, the 400th player to don PSG colours.

"If you come on and they score…..happily, it was the opposite that happened.

"I was a little nervous. I had always said that this was a huge challenge for me, so there was a little bit of pressure. But I really enjoyed tonight just as I have enjoyed the last ten days with the team.

"It was tough to get back in shape, but I feel good. It all turned out well."

PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti admitted that Beckham could start Wednesday's French Cup clash at home, which will again be against Marseille.

"He came on because Marco Verratti was tired and we needed fresh players on the pitch," said Ancelotti, who took off Javier Pastore to accommodate Beckham.

"He showed quality with his passes, his experience. He showed good qualities even if it was difficult to judge in only 20 minutes."

Asked if Beckham could start against Marseille at the Parc des Princes, Ancelotti said: "Perhaps. Verratti is suspended, so maybe he will play."

Beckham has already proved a hit with his teammates.

"To play with Beckham was a real honour," said PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi. "I was a great fan of his when he plays at Manchester United."

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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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