A David Beckham Move to Paris Saint-Germain Makes the Most Sense

Tony MabertContributor IOctober 13, 2011

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 06:  David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy positions against FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center on August 6, 2011 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

It appears that David Beckham's most likely destination when he leaves Los Angeles Galaxy could be French outfit Paris Saint-Germain, and out of all the clubs mooted for him, it makes the most sense.

As his four-year spell in California enters its final few matches, he is already looking out for where to take the Beckham Brand roadshow next.

The former England captain has just two MLS regular-season games, one last CONCACAF Champions League group fixture and the playoffs left before his highly lucrative contract at the Home Depot Center expires at the end of November. He may be 36 years old, but that will not stop Beckham from being in the market for another club—especially considering his very public ambition to play for Team GB at the London Olympics in 2012.

After all, he is still one of the most famous athletes on the planet, and if he can squeeze in an extra season or two before he finally calls it a day, then no doubt his bank manager would be a very happy man. 

That is not to say he would offer nothing from a football perspective. This season has been his most productive since making the move stateside in 2007. In 25 league appearances thus far—matching his previous best-total set in 2008—he has claimed 15 assists and scored two goals of his own, making him responsible for a third of Galaxy's goals in this campaign.

The success of his stated mission to popularise Major League Soccer both in the U.S. and abroad—match attendance and television audiences have remained more or less constant since his arrival—can certainly point to his value on the field. After an unsteady first couple of years, Beckham has just helped Los Angeles to the top of the Western Conference for the third year running, and, in doing so, has claimed back-to-back Supporters' Shields. 

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 01:  David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy looks on during warm-up prior to their the MLS match against Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center on October 1, 2011 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1.  (
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The man who has won league titles at Manchester United and Real Madrid, lifted the Champions League and played in all of England's biggest matches over the past decade, also showed his big-game head when scoring his team's first penalty in the shootout to decide the 2009 MLS Cup—although Real Salt Lake ultimately prevailed on that day in Seattle.

Many will view Beckham's time in the U.S. as a personal failure if he cannot emulate what he did at Real Madrid by winning the championship in his fourth and final season with the Galaxy. However, whether he ends his stay in America with a winner's medal or not, there are sure to be plenty of offers for him in the pipeline.

Reports have circulated of Premier League duo Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers and clubs in the booming leagues of Brazil and the Middle East registering their interest in the native of Leytonstone, East London, but, by far, the most enticing offer would seem to be that of PSG. 

The French club could be described as nouveau riche, following their takeover by the Qatar Investment Authority back in May. The new owners soon flexed their financial muscle in the transfer window by spending around £80 million on talents such as the immensely promising duo of French striker Kevin Gameiro and Argentinian midfielder Javier Pastore—the latter player alone accounting for around half of PSG's summer outlay. As such, it is clear they have the spending power to appear on Beckham's radar.

Another key bargaining chip in PSG's favour is the presence of Leonardo as their sporting director. The Brazilian World Cup winner held the same role at Milan during Beckham's first loan spell at the San Siro, and was the manager during his second. 

MILAN, ITALY - MARCH 14:  AC Milan Head Coach Leonardo and David Beckham during the Serie A match between AC Milan and AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on March 14, 2010 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Last week, Beckham said of the man just six years his senior: "I had a good relationship with him when I was in Milan the first time and also when he was manager the second time. He's a great sporting director and a wonderful person. I'm flattered that he wants me to come join him and the team in Paris.

"There are great things happening in France at several clubs, but it's an exciting time for PSG," he added. "Leonardo joining them, the money the club has—it's an interesting club."

The mechanical whirring that could be heard in the background as that quote was being read is the sound of the Beckham media operation clicking into gear. Whereas he was coy about his desire to join Tottenham on loan while training with the London club at the start of the year, this time he has been quite open about a potential move to Paris.

He went on to say: "This [family] is the number-one priority, family comes first and where they are happy is where I stay, it's that simple."

While it would be patronising and lazy to make comments about his wife Victoria enjoying the couture outlets of the French capital, the opportunity to move to another of the world's great cities may well hold its appeal for the Beckhams, especially as their new base would be just a short hop from England. 

Not only would this be good for the family, but there is also the added bonus of him being able to get himself back in the public eye in his homeland, with the Olympics on the horizon and his post-playing career in the back of his mind (Beckham has recently stated his desire to one day return to Manchester United as their sporting director, although that may not be a possibility until after Alex Ferguson has left the club). 

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07: David Beckham and his sons Cruz and Romeo attend the NHL game between the Nashville Predators and the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center on November 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

How well he would cope with a move to one of Europe's upper-tier leagues is very much open to question. While Beckham has spoken of the general rise in the standard of the MLS over his time there, Ligue 1 would undoubtedly represent a step up in quality. His last match in Italy was more than 18 months ago, and he would be required to adjust as quickly as possible by arriving in the middle of the season.

One thing he would bring to the Parc des Princes in spades, however, is media attention. The signing of a bona fide superstar would certainly add an air of legitimacy to the PSG project and greatly raise the club's international profile.

Also, after such heavy investment in the summer (and possibly again in January), the current French league leaders could do with the extra shirt sales to help them balance the books by the time the first Financial Fair Play audits take place.

Paris Saint-Germain is a club with an interesting (if short) history, which Arsene Wenger once noted has all the ingredients to become a genuine European superpower one day. If PSG can convince Beckham to join them and handle his recruitment correctly, they can take a big step towards achieving that lofty but achievable aim.


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