Last Stop Paris for David Beckham, as Football's Best-Travelled Brand Joins PSG
David Beckham's last meal at football's top table will be taken in the restaurant capital of the world.
The 37-year-old signed for Paris Saint-Germain on transfer deadline day and will bring his craft and considerable profile to the cash-rich French club in their quest to win a French title and the Champions League this season.
In Paris, Beckham will renew acquaintances with Carlo Ancelotti, a coach he knows from his loan spells at AC Milan and hailed as "one of the best" he'd worked with to a packed press conference on Thursday. PSG director of football Leonardo was also at Milan during Beckham's time in Serie A.
Beckham, who won a second MLS Cup with L.A. Galaxy in 2012, has surely signed his last contract as a player. The former England captain chose PSG as the final destination in a glittering career that began at Manchester United and has taken in high-profile spells at Real Madrid, Galaxy and Milan.
Manchester, Madrid, Los Angeles, Milan and now Paris. The boy who grew up in east London has conquered the world.
Surely just a coincidence that a list of Beckham's career moves reads like a fashion road trip - Madrid, Milan, LA & Paris.— Alex Thomas (@alexthomascnn) January 31, 2013
Said Beckham, in a press conference on Thursday:
I'm very lucky. I am 37 years old and I got a lot of offers. I chose Paris because I can see what the club are trying to do. I can see the players that the club are bringing in.
It's an exciting city, it always has been... Now there is a club that is going to have a lot of success over the next 15-20 years.
I've very honoured I'm part of this. I'm very honoured that I've been picked to be a part of the future of PSG.
Beckham's future had been the subject of fierce speculation since it was announced he would not be extending his stay in Los Angeles. The veteran midfielder was reportedly subject to 12 offers for his services from clubs around the world (Fox) and had been training with Arsenal to keep himself match-ready.
Beckham scored seven goals and laid on 10 assists in the 2012 MLS regular season and playoffs, playing his part in L.A. Galaxy's run to the title and keeping alive the notion he still has something to offer as a player despite his advanced years. "I can still play like a 21-year-old," he told gathered media on his unveiling in Paris.
Beckham will now have a chance to play in the Champions League again. PSG face Valencia in the last 16, an eminently winnable tie that could well see them through to the quarters and brings up the possibility of Beckham facing one of his former clubs—Madrid, United or Milan.
Among his teammates in a star-studded squad will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, who joined for big sums from Milan in the summer. Highly rated Brazilian Lucas Moura, Argentina internationals Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore and French midfielder Jeremy Menez are also on PSG's roster.
On a possible return to the Premier League, Beckham said he would not have returned to England's top flight unless it was with Manchester United.
Beckham will not receive any earnings during his five months in Paris, according to USA Today. His salary will be donated to a local children's charity in Paris.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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