Happy Beckham delights PSG in his French debut

Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:06am IST

Paris Saint-Germain's David Beckham reacts during their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Olympic Marseille at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Paris Saint-Germain's David Beckham reacts during their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Olympic Marseille at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris February 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

By Gregory Blachier PARIS (Reuters) - Former England captain David Beckham enjoyed a promising French league debut for Paris St Germain, riding warm crowd support in a late cameo during the 2-0 home victory over Olympique Marseille on Sunday.

The 37-year-old was greeted by a roar from the packed Parc des Princes stadium when he made his first appearance off the bench in the 75th minute and made enough of an impact to please coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"He has brought his passing skills, his experience and some tactical solutions. He only played 20 minutes tonight but he showed some good things," Ancelotti, who coached Beckham during his first spell at AC Milan in 2009, told reporters.

"He will be very, very useful."

Beckham, who has joined the Qatari-backed club on a five-month deal, delivered a trademark long pass from his deep midfield position shortly after coming on and stopped a Marseille counter-attack seconds later.

Ancelotti dismissed suggestions he had fielded Beckham because of his iconic status.

"He's just a player like the others to me," he said, adding that Beckham could start Wednesday's French Cup last 16 home game against Marseille.

Beckham, who forms one of the world's most famous celebrity couples with his wife Victoria, a fashion designer and member of British pop act Spice Girls, has been France's main attraction since signing for PSG three weeks ago but has tried to keep his preparations low-profile.

He commented little about his own performance, but gushed about the victory and the warm welcome at the "beautiful" Parc des Princes.

"Obviously, I'm very happy. Very happy to be part of a winning team. It was a very big game," he told reporters.

"It was a special night for me personally. For the team, it was a great night."

France midfielder Blaise Matuidi was thrilled to partner with Beckham, one of his childhood heroes.

"It's true happiness. When I was a kid, I was one of his fans," the 25-year-old said.

"We are really very satisfied to play by his side." (Additional reporting by Simon Carraud; Editing by Ian Ransom)

Sports Wrap

REUTERS SHOWCASE

SpiceJet Bail-Out

SpiceJet Bail-Out

Co-founder of SpiceJet seeks time to finalise rescue  Full Article 

Regulating Airfares

Regulating Airfares

India considers temporary cap on airfares - government official  Full Article 

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

British tsunami brothers use funky footwear to help children.  Full Article 

Fund Raising

Fund Raising

Xiaomi raising over $1 bln from investors including GIC - source.  Full Article 

Porn Crackdown

Porn Crackdown

China arrests thousands in porn, gambling crackdown - Xinhua.  Full Article 

India v Australia

India v Australia

Boxing Day test of India's resolve in Melbourne.  Full Article | Related Story 

Jaycee Charged

Jaycee Charged

China charges Jackie Chan's son over drug offence.  Full Article 

China on Cyberattacks

China on Cyberattacks

China condemns cyberattacks, but does not mention North Korea.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage