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British football player David Beckham poses with his new jersey, flanked by Paris Saint-Germain’s Qatari president, Nasser Al Khelaifi (left), and PSG sports director Leonardo during a press conference in Paris, yesterday.
PARIS: Former England captain David Beckham yesterday signed for ambitious French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain on a five-month contract which will see him donate his entire salary to a children’s charity.
The 37-year-old midfielder —one of the world’s most recognisable sportsmen with a pop star wife and an estimated net worth of £190m ($300m) — has been without a club since leaving Los Angeles Galaxy last year.
But after a day of fevered speculation, the ex-Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan star was unveiled by Qatari-owned PSG at a packed news conference after a routine medical at a city hospital.
“I’m very lucky. I’m 37 and I got a lot of offers, probably more offers that I’ve ever had in my career. I chose Paris because I can see what the club is trying to do, I can see the players the club’s bringing in,” said Beckham, whose deal runs until June 30.
“It’s a club that’s going to have a lot of success in the next 10, 15, 20 years.”
PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi said: “He will help us to reach our dream to become one of the best European clubs, he’ll be of big value for the club, he’ll be a big asset.”
Father-of-four Beckham, whose family will remain in London, revealed that he would donate his salary during his time in the French capital to a local children’s charity.
“That’s one of the things that we’re very excited about, to be able to give a huge sum to a children’s charity in Paris. It’s special,” he said.
The deal with “Becks” gives PSG’s ambitious Qatari owners a celebrity brand with the clout to tap new markets for the club, particularly in Asia.
It also provides a welcome boost to Ligue 1, which lacks the same level of star attraction as other major European leagues.