Ligue 1

Beckham career draws to close

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Sat, 25 May 2013 12:59:00

David Beckham's illustrious playing career will officially finish at the Stade du Moustoir on Sunday when his Paris St Germain side visit Lorient.

Beckham tearfully walked off the Parc des Princes pitch to a tremendous reception from both his team-mates and the crowd after being substituted in the 3-1 win over Brest last week, when the Parisians celebrated their Ligue 1 title triumph.

The manner of the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder's exit coupled with the artificial surface the Brittany club uses has given rise to rumours that Beckham has already played his final match.

Team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who needs one more goal to take his league tally for the season to 30, was just one of a host of PSG players to pay tribute to Beckham.

"I think his retirement is a huge loss for football, but I also understand his decision. He's a really nice guy," the Swede, who won the Ligue 1 player of the year last Sunday, told PSG's official website.

"I didn't know him personally before he signed for Paris but I have got to know him here. He has been a model of professionalism.

"We all wish him all the very best in the future and hope he stays in football in some capacity and shares all that experience.

"He has had an excellent career, without a doubt the envy of a lot of people."

One man who also looks to be on his way out of the capital club this summer is head coach Carlo Ancelotti, who confirmed his desire to leave with the vacancy at Real Madrid likely to be in his thoughts after being named joint Ligue 1 coach of the year.

However, PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi expects the Italian to honour the remaining year he has left on his deal.

You would be forgiven, then, for thinking the clash with Lorient is little more than a formality for the club and Ancelotti, who will be without the suspended Jeremie Menez.

The Les Merlus players will not taking the encounter lightly as they look to finish the campaign strongly, none more so than veteran defender Arnaud Le Lan, who is retiring after tomorrow.

The 35-year-old defender has book-ended his career with Lorient, making over 100 appearances from 1996 until 2002 and then rejoining the club - after spells at Rennes and Guingamp - in 2008.

Le Lan is therefore keen to help the club to a seventh-placed finish.

"The club are desperate to win and so am I. I want to bring the curtain down on a winning note and a good performance. Sunday we play the French champions in a sold-out stadium," he told Lorient's official website.

"There are a lot of tired legs in our changing room, but we have one last good performance in us."

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