After receiving some 12 offers from clubs around the world, the former England captain and Los Angeles Galaxy star, 37, signed Thursday with Paris Saint-Germain – a team that has been courting him for more than a year. He signed a five-month deal – with his contract set to expire on June 30.
The soccer star, in a slick suit and tie, was introduced at a press conference at the club’s Parc des Princes stadium on Thursday morning.
As for his contract, which runs until the end of the season, Beckham explained at the press conference, “I consider myself to be part of this club in the future – in helping this club to grow … in helping the French league to grow and also helping this club to be one of the biggest powerhouses in football.”
He also explained that his wife Victoria and kids won’t be moving to France. “My wife and children will be staying in London because the children are in school there,” he told reporters.
Victoria, meanwhile, released a statement about how “incredibly proud and supportive of David” she and their children are. “And we are excited about spending time as a family in Paris over the coming weeks. We are passionate about supporting children’s charities and donating to a local children’s charity in Paris is something we are delighted to do.”
When asked about his command of the French language, Beckham admitted, “I haven’t spoken French in quite a few years. … I’m going to have to brush up on it,” though he did bid everybody hello and said, “Bonjour.”
The midfielder’s private jet landed in Paris at about 11 a.m. local time. He then went to a Paris hospital to undergo a physical – a routine step before any signing is official.
Beckham spent five and a half years with the Galaxy, but has always seemed interested in returning to top-flight European soccer. At PSG, he will have a chance to win the French soccer title and will again compete in the Champions League.
Although Beckham will be paid for his work – rumors in the French press place his earnings at over a million dollars a month – he won’t see any of the money himself. “My salary will go towards a local children’s charity in Paris,” Beckham clarified.
• Reporting by PETER MIKELBANK