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PSG coach Ancelotti slams Beckham critics

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti on Friday rounded on critics of David Beckham for his performance in the Champions League quarter-final first leg match against Barcelona.

PSG coach Ancelotti slams Beckham critics
AFP

"Criticism of Beckham is strange and unfair. He had a very good match. He followed the strategy I laid out to the letter and gave the ball quickly," the Italian told a news conference.

"Did the way he played make me want to start with him again in the second leg? Yes, of course it did. If Paris were good in the first half-hour against Barca it's because Beckham was good, and looked to play quickly."

Ancelotti was speaking after assessments that the 37-year-old former England captain, who started the game but was substituted after 70 minutes in the 2-2 draw, played the long ball well but fell short when it came to winning it.

Others have raised questions about whether PSG's Qatari owners pressurised Ancelotti into starting with the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder for commercial reasons.

But the coach said: "It's wrong to say that Qatar told me, 'Beckham must play'…Club presidents can't force a coach to pick a player…During my career, no president has forced me to pick a player, whether it's [AC Milan president Silvio] Berlusconi, [Chelsea owner Roman] Abramovich or Nasser [al-Khelaifi, PSG's majority shareholder].

"It annoys me that anyone can think that," he said.

Ancelotti added: "I'm not a friend of Beckham, or a supporter. I try to be objective. A player doesn't play if he's not good in training. Beckham deserves to play even if he's 37 years old.

"I've got only one aim: to get PSG to win something, whether it's the French championship, French cup, or even, dare I say it, the Champions League."

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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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