Re-watch Beckham's PSG press conference (above)
David Beckham has found the next challenge in his illustrious career: France.
At the height of the transfer deadline day madness in Europe, the longtime LA Galaxy midfielder signed a five month contract with French giants Paris St. Germain. The 37-year-old Englishman was heavily linked with PSG a year ago before he opted to re-sign with the Galaxy, eventually helping LA to their second straight MLS Cup title.
After deciding to return to the Galaxy a year ago, PSG was the perfect fit for Beckham.
Highlights: Beckham's Galaxy career
"I can see what the club is trying to do," Beckham told a packed press conference at PSG’s Parc des Princes on Thursday. "Paris is an exciting city, [it] always has been and always will be but now there's a club that's exciting to me. I'm happy I've been picked to be part of the future of PSG. I'm very excited."
Beckham joins an assortment at stars at the high-flying Parisian club including Swedish star forward Zlatan Ibrahimović, Argentine wunderkind Javier Pastore and several others. PSG currently sit at the top of Ligue 1 and will participate in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 against Valencia in February.
At age 37, Beckham is in for a challenge to carve out a place in the French giants loaded starting XI, but he insisted that he’d “work hard” to impress manager Carlo Ancelotti. Beckham has a long standing relationship with the Italian manager –as well as director of football Leonardo—who served as the Englishman’s mangers during his loans to AC Milan in 2009 and 2010.
But Beckham isn’t only seeking to make the statement that he can still play at the highest level in Europe; he’s also hoping to make an altruistic one as well.
“I won't receive any salary, we have decided my salary will go towards a local children's charity in Paris and that is one of the things we are very excited and proud to do,” said Beckham. “I am very lucky to have earned what I have earned throughout my career."
Beckham’s former head coach and general manager Bruce Arena offered his support for Beckham as he embarks on the next part of his career.
“We think it’s great and we wish him the very best,” Arena said after the Galaxy’s training session on Thursday.
Even though Beckham will now be playing a continent away in Paris, he remains committed to growing MLS.
“I was part of MLS for six years with huge success off the field and in the last three years, we had huge success on the field. I will continue to be an ambassador for football in America," Beckham said. "I enjoyed living there, my family enjoyed living there and it was something that was very special for us over those years. I always said to my commitment to football in the United States will continue. I will continue to be an ambassador there and if I can grow the game in other places than great.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com