The Qatari ownership group of Parisian soccer giants Paris St.-Germain acquired international soccer superstar David Beckham for the rest of the Ligue 1 season as part of a five month loan deal. Beckham even announced that he would donate his entire salary for the five-month s to a local childrenâ€™s charity.
Beckham is now in the twilight of his career at the age of 37. But he has a world of experience, having played for such clubs as Manchester United, A.C. Milan, and most recently the L.A. Galaxy of the United Statesâ€™ Major League Soccer. He was also former captain of the English national team. And off the pitch, he is a celebrity on virtually every continent, not to mention his ongoing career as a television model for such brands as H & M. â€œItâ€™s an exciting city â€” it always has been, and it always will be,â€ Beckham said of Paris. â€œBut now thereâ€™s a club thatâ€™s going to have a lot of success over the next 10, 15, 20 years.â€
Paris St.-Germain has been spending freely to add such star players as Thiago Silva, Lucas Moura, and coach Carlo Ancelotti. And, Beckham will be joining PSGâ€™s biggest star, prolific striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has Muslim ties.
Fabien Barthez, a former goalkeeper for Franceâ€™s national team who played with Beckham at Manchester United, said the move was good for French soccer, which has often taken a backseat to the English and Spanish leagues. â€œIt shakes things up,â€ he told France Info radio. â€œItâ€™s true that there are some who will always talk,â€ he went on, referring to criticisms that Beckham represents little more than a grab for publicity. â€œBut we know that music.â€ Barthez added, â€œYou mustnâ€™t forget what the guy has lived, and all the experience, all this lived experience that he can bring to the young players and the team.â€
â€œI havenâ€™t spoken French for quite a few years, since I was in school,â€ said Beckham, sending cameras clicking as he flashed his signature smile. â€œSo, yeah, thatâ€™s quite a few years. Iâ€™m definitely going to have to brush up on it.â€ His wife Victoria, and his three sons, will remain in London during the loan spell.