Football - Beckham praised for all-round contribution at PSG

Former England captain David Beckham, who will retire at the end of the season, helped put Paris St Germain on the world soccer map but predictably made little impact on the field.

Reuters

Beckham, at 38 the oldest outfield player in Ligue 1, came behind France international Blaise Matuidi and Italians Marco Verratti or Thiago Motta in coach Carlo Ancelotti's order of preference, making only nine league appearances since his debut in late February.

He created one goal and also picked up a red card.

"Everyone was excited when they knew he was coming because he had a fantastic reputation as a pro and a man, and great quality on the field still," PSG assistant coach Paul Clement told BeIN Sport this month.

"He gets on with everyone - first out to training, the last one back in, a real enthusiasm for the game. He's been a breath of fresh air."

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also full of praise.

"He's got a lot of experience. He was as important off the pitch as he was on the field," Ibrahimovic said before the Champions League quarter-final tie against Barcelona.

Beckham was a surprise starter in the second leg at the Camp Nou and he did not disappoint that day even if PSG were eventually knocked out by virtue of the away goal rule. However, he never seemed at ease with the physical demands of the Ligue 1 game.

What will remain in the memory is his arrival with great ceremony in the French capital and the donation of his salary by his new club to a local children's charity

However, if he had decided to stay on, Beckham would have become a France resident for tax purposes and would have been subject to the 75 per cent super tax for revenues above one million euros ($1.29 million) a year.

Beckham still has two games as a PSG player, at home against Stade Brest on Saturday, when the team will celebrate the Ligue 1 title with their fans, and at Lorient before the end of a glamorous but brief French interlude. ($1 = 0.7742 euros)

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