Five years ago, David Beckham traded the high life of European futbol for the opportunity to grow his brand and sport in America.
Now rumors are swirling that Beckham will be crossing back over the Atlantic to join the talented cast of PSG. According to The Daily Mail, PSG has already contacted Nike about producing 20,000 Beckham PSG shirts.
If these rumors are true, there are going to be some interesting aspects to this futbol marriage.
One can easily put together the pieces of why PSG would be interested in Beckham. PSG’s Leonardo got to know Beckham well during his loan stints with AC Milan. With Beckham’s play during this MLS season, one can make the case for his return to European competition despite his age.
Leonardo may be looking to add more experience to his squad, and Beckham’s passing and dead ball abilities are a definite plus in unlocking the normally defensive-minded Ligue 1.
PSG made a lot of noise this summer with their investors and the signing of Pastore, but have yet to make their mark on a global level.
Bringing in a global icon like Beckham will grow their brand in areas they have not reached yet. Even if his skills are not what they were, his recognition could mean a lot of money brought in via jersey sales in untapped markets.
Beckham has professed his desire to be a part of next summer’s Olympics. To do this, he needs to remain a viable option for a team with exposure. While MLS is improving year by year, it is not as visible as Ligue 1 to those who matter regarding the Olympics.
Beckham has always been driven to seek new challenges, and he may view PSG as the venue of his last campaign. With his contract with the Galaxy up at the end of the season, David is free to go where he wants too. While he and the Galaxy have been in talks regarding a new contract, there have been no indications of what he is going to do.
While there are some sensible reasons as to why this may happen, there are several factors in why it should not.
Beckham’s family seems to be settled well in California. Uprooting and moving his children is more difficult now than when they were younger. The Beckhams have enjoyed the extra privacy they have gotten living in the States, compared to their time in Spain.
Beckham is getting old in soccer years. The constant pounding on the body after the nearly two decades of consistent play takes its toll. While he has been more healthy this season than in previous years, there is no way to know how much longer his body will allow him to perform at a high level. Taking a chance on him for two to three years at a high price is a risky proposition.
PSG is currently set in their midfield. With Pastore, Matuidi, Menez, Nene and Bodmer, they have a deep and talented group of midfielders.
Adding Beckham to that group would give them another option off the bench, but will he be happy with a part-time role?
While it may be worth PSG investing in Beckham to grow their brand, the rest of the pieces do not make sense to me. It is a rumor worth keeping tabs on because we know that Beckham has made bold moves before.
If it does happen, all of Europe will be able to hear the cussing of the Adidas hierarchy as they picture Beckham trotting out onto the pitch branded with the swoosh.