Why have PSG signed Beckham?
Former England captain David Beckham stole the headlines on transfer deadline day as he signed a five-month contract to play for Paris Saint-Germain. The 37-year-old who has plied his trade for Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and LA Galaxy over the course of his 20-year career, will effectively play for free, after declaring he will donate his entire salary to a Paris children’s charity.
At the 1998 Fifa World Cup in France, Beckham was arguably the most hated footballer in England after getting sent off for kicking Argentine Diego Simeone in the last 16, resulting in England bowing out of the competition.
Despite his failings that night in St Etienne, 15 years on, Beckham is now England’s most respected mondern-day footballer. His endeavour and passion for the England cause over the years has endeared many to him as a footballer, and a person.
The FA regarded him so highly and recognised the power of his global influence, that they chose him as an ambassador for their 2018 Fifa World Cup bid. He has used his power to help charities including UNICEF and he is also a big supporter of the Help For Heroes campaign.
Beckham is so much more than a footballer. He attracts more paparazzi than any sportsman in the world, and with an estimated worth of £160m, he is a global superstar and a lucrative brand.
So why have PSG signed Beckham? Is it for purely footballing reasons, or do the Qatari owners feel Beckham will be of rich benefit off the field in terms of shirt sales and raising the already growing exposure of PSG?
The Qataris are business people and after Real Madrid’s shirt sales rose by 62 per cent when Beckham signed for them in 2003, the owners stand to see a vast profit from signing Beckham.
Despite reportedly two weeks away from being match fit, when Beckham does get on the pitch, he will certainly bring leadership and consistency to PSG’s performances. PSG are starting to click at the perfect time and the influence of Beckham off the pitch as much as on it, could help Ancelotti’s men stay on course for the title. They sit three points clear of nearest rivals Lyon in the league and in a week’s time, they face Valencia in the last 16 of the Uefa Champions League.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti, will be hoping Beckham – who was the first British player to play 100 Champions League games – can use his experience to nurture the likes of Lucas Moura and Marco Verratti through the business end of the season.
When asked about the signing of Beckham – who Ancelotti managed at AC Milan – the Italian boss said: “He’s 37 but still has the motivation and the physical condition…Beckham’s not had many injuries in his career. He’s one of the most serious and professional players i’ve ever known.”
Although Beckham’s best days as a player are behind him, he will bring experience, added exposure and glamour to PSG, much to the delight of the owners. It remains to be seen if he will be of greater benefit to PSG on the pitch or off it, but either way, Beckham will be an asset to PSG.Tagged in: David Beckham, football, PSG
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