Beckham joins PSG, pledges his salary to children's charity

Jan 31, 2013

The 37-year-old former England captain will move to France for his footballing swansong

DAVID BECKHAM is set for a footballing swansong in Europe after agreeing to join French side Paris Saint-Germain on a five-month contract that will see him donate his entire salary to a chidlren's charity.

"I won't receive any salary. My salary will go to a local children's charity," Beckham said today. "That's one of the things we are excited and proud to do."

The former England captain has been without a club since leaving LA Galaxy at the end of the MLS season in the US. He had been keeping his fitness up by training with Arsenal, but any hopes that he would sign for the Gunners have been dashed by his move to France.

News of the deal with free-spending PSG, who are bankrolled by the Qatar Investment Authority, livened up proceedings on the final day of the January transfer window.

"The veteran had received 12 formal and lucrative offers from clubs in South America, South Africa, Russia, China, the Middle East, Australia and North America," reported The Guardian. "He has ultimately been swayed by the prospect of claiming a title in another major European league as well as competing again in the Champions League."

The 37-year-old had insisted that he would choose his next club for footballing rather than personal reasons and PSG are top of Ligue 1. But playing in Paris will be convenient for the midfielder whose family are now back living in London, after five years in California.

The club is also managed by Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of AC Milan during Beckham's loan spell there in 2009.

The Daily Mail called the move "sensational" but noted that his "potential squad number selection is a subject of growing interest".

The paper added: "His traditionally preferred choices, seven and 23, are already respectively taken by Jeremy Menez and Gregory van der Wiel."

However some have questioned the motives of both parties. "The great temptation is to assume PSG have signed Beckham for commercial rather than playing reasons," said Paul Wilson in the Guardian.

However, another English footballer plying his trade in France was delighted by the news. Marseille's Joey Barton noted that the two teams meet twice in February and tweeted: "He'll be great for French football. Although, he'll remain 2nd best/best looking, Englishman in France. That'll hurt his confidence!"

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