David Beckham post signature quotes:
David, have you already worked on your French?
“I haven’t spoken any French since school, so I’m still a little bit rusty… (smile). It will come little by little as I meet my new teammates. I’m really happy to have signed here in Paris, for a club that is putting a truly fantastic project in place. For the time being, my children will stay in London with my wife so that they can continue their normal education.”
Why did you choose Paris Saint-Germain with so many other clubs chasing your signature?
“I’m very lucky to have so many offers at 37 years of age. In the last few months, I feel like I’ve received more offers than throughout my entire career. Obviously I won’t be playing at the very highest level for a long time to come, but it’s a great honour for me to have been picked to help Paris Saint-Germain become one of the biggest football clubs in the world.”
Did you ever consider a return to England?
“I’ve always said I wouldn’t play for any other English club other than Manchester United, that’s why it wasn’t possible to go to England. I’m 37 years old and I still feel in good shape physically. I don’t think I’ve lost too much pace, although perhaps I was never that quick… (smile). What’s more, it’s a great pleasure to work with such talented people as Carlo [Ancelotti] and Leonardo, two people for whom I have great respect.”
Why is your contract only for five months?
“For the moment, we have decided to go until the end of the current season and then look at how we can continue the adventure. It’s true that PSG’s sporting project is very exciting and I would love to commit myself in the long term to help develop the club. But everything happened very quickly and we didn’t have the time to discuss the long term.”
Do you want a place in the starting XI?
“That will be up to Carlo Ancelotti to decide. I just want to give my best, like I have always done. In every club I’ve ever played for, I’ve always invested myself 150 per cent. It won’t be any different here.”
What has changed from last year when you were already approached by Paris Saint-Germain?
“Last year wasn’t the right time. I still wanted to achieve some great things with Los Angeles, win another title. Leonardo and decided it would be best to wait a little. When my contract expired in the USA, we re-opened negotiations. In talking with Leonardo and Nasser [Al-Khelaïfi], I saw very quickly that we could achieve some great things together. We decided that I will not receive any salary for these five months. Instead, we will make donations to the charities already supported by the PSG Foundation. It’s an excellent idea that everyone very quickly agreed upon.”
How are you going physically?
“I have been keeping in shape in the last few days by training with Arsenal. I think I’ll be ready to play in two or three weeks.”
We have spoken a lot about Zlatan Ibrahimovic since his arrival here in France. What are your thoughts on him?
“I can’t wait to play with him. Since the very start of his career, I always knew he would become a great player. He’s a very passionate footballer, with a lot of character and charisma. I have played against him in matches between England and Sweden. That was already very impressive. But he’s not the only one in this squad. PSG is lucky enough to have an extremely competitive squad in every position and I can’t wait to meet my new teammates.”
Who will take the free-kicks?
“He is a lot bigger than me, it might be a bit difficult to get the ball off him… (smile). We’ll see. At Real Madrid, with Roberto Carlos and Zinedine Zidane, you had to show great determination to take the ball in those situations… especially with Roberto Carlos… I imagine it will be the same with Ibra.”
What do you think of Ligue 1?
“I don’t know too much about the French championship, but I do know that the best clubs are very hard to beat. When I was at Real Madrid, we played Lyon in the Champions League and every time it was really tough and we really suffered. I also remember scoring against Marseille. I’d like to do that again because I know that would make our supporters very happy.”
Would you have joined Paris if the club had been eliminated from the Champions League?
“Yes, because of the sporting project. The European Cup is a bonus. At the same time, I haven’t competed in the Champions League for a long time and I can’t wait to play in it again soon.”