Beckham joins PSG, donating salary to charity (+video)

By Jerome Pugmire and Rob Harris

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31 2013 11:55 a.m. MST

Beckham: 'Excited and Honored' to Be Part of PSG

PARIS — David Beckham has joined Paris Saint-Germain, and will be donating his salary to a children's charity.

The 37-year-old former England captain was presented at a news conference Thursday at the French club's Parc des Princes stadium. The club said he signed a five-month deal.

PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi says "we're very happy to welcome David Beckham to Paris Saint-Germain. He will be joining for five months until 30 June."

During that time, Beckham says his salary will go to a Paris children's charity.

PSG is the latest stop in Beckham's glamorous career, which has seen him win titles with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham ended his six-year stint in the U.S. last month.

Beckham had been close to joining the Qatari-owned team last January but rejected a deal worth about $12 million per year to stay with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

Beckham ended his six-year stint in the U.S. last month after winning two MLS Cups, moving back to London with his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria, and their four children.

Now Beckham's family will be just a short flight or train ride away from the Champs-Elysees.

At PSG, Beckham will be hoping to win a league title in a fourth country, having already enjoyed success in England with Manchester United, Spain with Real Madrid and the U.S. with the Galaxy.

Beckham is looking for one more opportunity to close out his glittering career. Paris seems a perfect fit for a player who has become a global fashion and style icon, known as much for his looks and endorsements as his curling free kicks.

Whether an aging Beckham can still be a force in European soccer remains an open question.

"I still feel like I have something left in me as a player," he said recently. "I still feel like I have one more challenge left in me as a player, even at 37 years old. I still feel like I can play at a high level."

Beckham is being reunited at PSG with coach Carlo Ancelotti and director Leonardo, who were at AC Milan when the midfielder went on loan there from the Galaxy in 2009 and 2010.

"Very happy to see Beckham going to PSG and under Mr. Ancelotti again!" Milan director Umberto Gandini wrote Thursday on Twitter. "Great player and great person, he deserves It. Bonne chance!"

Beckham, who was available on a free transfer, had been mulling over around a dozen offers over the last month from clubs around the world, including Qatar and China.

He opted to join one of the highest-profile teams in world soccer. Over the past 18 months, PSG's Qatari owners have spent about $350 million on transfers.

But the unrestricted spending power of Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, who first invested in PSG in 2011, has yet to pay off in trophies.

With a star-studded squad including striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, defender Thiago Silva and playmaker Javier Pastore, the team is currently ahead of Lyon at the top of the French standings on goal difference.

This report is a combination of reports from AP writers Rob Harris and Jerome Pugmire. Follow Deseret News sports on Twitter: @desnewssports

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