Beckham joins PSG, explains decision
David Beckham has completed his move to Paris Saint-Germain and revealed he turned down offers from England because he could not bear to face Manchester United. The 37-year-old also disclosed that he will play without a salary at PSG, instead donating what he would have earned to a children's charity in Paris.
He has signed a five-month contract and confirmed the presence of Carlo Ancelotti and Leonardo, the head coach and sporting director, had persuaded him to join the wealthy French giants. Beckham knows both men from time he spent on loan at AC Milan.
"I'm very lucky," Beckham said. "I'm 37 years old and I got a lot of offers, more now than I've probably had in my career. I'm very honoured by that.
"I chose Paris because I can see what the club are trying to do. I can see who the club are trying to bring in. It's an exciting city and now there's a club that's going to have a lot of success over the next ten, 20, 30 years. I'm very honoured I've been picked to be part of the future of PSG.
"Every club I've played for throughout the world I've been successful with. I was successful with Manchester United and always said I'd never want to play for another English club. I had a lot of history with Manchester United. It's the team I support and the team I dreamt of playing for.
"I'm very honoured by the offers I had from other Premier League clubs, but I didn't want to play there unless it was for Manchester United."
'Huge sum' to go to charity
It emerged this morning that the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, who won 115 caps for England and captained his country, was travelling to the French capital for a medical.
Beckham revealed the deal had been agreed in the early hours. He said: "I think that this literally all happened at one o'clock this morning and was finalised when I got on the plane at 11 o'clock this morning."
He could not specify when he would be ready to play for his new club but, having had a spell of training with Arsenal recently, he said: "My fitness won't take long to get up to speed. A few weeks and I'll be up to speed."
Beckham explained his charitable gesture: "I won't receive any salary. My salary will go to a local children's charity in Paris. It's something exciting and something I'm not sure has been done before."
Beckham said he had not identified a suitable charity yet, and could not announce how much they would receive, except to say it would be a "huge sum".
"It's something the guys will decide, but it's a very good figure," Beckham said. "That's one thing we're very excited about: to be able to give a huge sum to a children's charity in Paris. It's very special."
Becks keen to play for as long as possible
Beckham was asked if the short-term deal would be his last as a player.
"I don't know if it'll be my last contract," he said. "People always speculate that it'll be my last, but they've done that for a number of years and I continue to play and sign new contracts. I want to continue to play as long as possible.
"My passion is football. When I play football it's not about the biggest contracts. I want to play for the biggest teams and with the best players. If I can continue to do that at the highest level, then who knows?"
Discussing Ancelotti and Leonardo, Beckham said: "I'm very lucky to have worked with Carlo and Leo for quite a few months in Milan. Carlo is one of the best managers I've played for."
Asked how it felt, given his age, to be the 'grandpa' of Ligue 1, Beckham said: "It feels very good. To be the elder statesman... if I can give advice to any younger players then great. I still feel 21 most days, so I'm very happy."