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David Beckham to PSG: Aging Star Won't Be Difference-Maker for French Club

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 01:  David Beckham #23 of Los Angeles Galaxy slides for the ball against Ricardo Clark #13 of the Houston Dynamo in the first half in the 2012 MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on December 1, 2012 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Justin OnslowContributor IIJanuary 31, 2013

In what could be David Beckham’s final stint, the former Manchester United superstar will join Paris Saint-Germain after passing a physical on Thursday.

The 37-year-old has won at least one league championship in three different countries, and he has a chance to add another with the French club. PSG are in the knockout stage of the Champions League, and Beckham stands a good chance of adding to his impressive resume this season.

Beckham still has some gas left in the tank, but don’t expect Beckham to be an elite game-changer on the pitch.

As quoted by Alex Hankin of Mirror Football, Beckham trained with Arsenal of the Premier League, and manager Arsene Wenger didn’t seem impressed with his fitness level:

He told me that he doesn't look at all to be in shape. Beckham is super-ambitious. If, in his mind, he wanted to play in the Premier League he would not have gone on holiday. He would have prepared and come in and tried to impress me. He told me he has done nothing at all.

Beckham is still a terrific passer, and he brings an added element of leadership and experience, but he is past his prime. He can’t be expected to be a key piece of the puzzle.

Beckham began his career with Manchester United in 1992, and since that time, the midfielder has won championship after championship with several squads. He spent his last six years in the MLS with the Los Angeles Galaxy, helping his team to a league title in 2011 and 2012. He has had a spectacular career, and it’s no surprise that several clubs were interested in his services.

According to Hankin, Beckham was presented with 12 offers from various professional clubs before ultimately agreeing to a deal with PSG. While he is at the back end of his career, Beckham still brings an added bonus to one of the most financially-active clubs in Europe.

In an interview with CNN, business expert Simon Chadwick had this to say of the benefits of signing one of the most recognizable faces in sport:

It's simply a very nice piece of short-term brand alignment that will be mutually beneficial to both parties. I think it's very difficult to quantify. He's been away from Europe for too long -- he's now really in his twilight years, we don't know what part he'll play in the team, we don't know how he'll be used for commercial purposes, we don't know how the French public will respond.

He may not be as big a star on the pitch as he once was, but Beckham is still highly marketable and very popular. This is as much a business move as it is a football move. This tweet from BBC Sport highlights what Beckham brings from a business and marketing standpoint:

Given his age and recent inactivity, Beckham made a good decision in joining a club that already has several quality pieces in place. PSG has a shot to make another championship run this season after falling just short last year, and Beckham will have the opportunity to be a complementary piece instead of the focal point.

PSG would be wise to use Beckham sparingly. He still adds value on the pitch, but his true value as a leader and positive off-field figure is what makes this move perfect for both parties. 

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