Beckham joins PSG, will donate salary to charity

David Beckham pledged to donate his salary to a children’s

charity Thursday after signing a five-month contract with

Paris-Saint Germain, the latest stop on his globe-trotting


The 37-year-old former England captain joined PSG after turning

down several other offers and pledging to effectively play for

free. No financial details were given as to how much Beckham’s

salary would be or the name of the charity. The decision was taken

early Thursday morning.

”It’s something we (decided) together, it’s one of the things

we talked about from the start. But this all happened so quick,”

Beckham said. ”I thought what a great idea it would be, that the

salary would go to a children’s charity in Paris.”

Beckham’s glamorous career has seen him win titles with

Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

”Every club I have played for throughout the world, I have been

successful with. I have been successful with Manchester United, and

I have always said that I would never want to play for another

English club,” Beckham said. ”It’s the team that I support, that

I always dreamt of playing for.”

Beckham recently finished a six-year stint in the United States

with the Galaxy. Whether he can still be a force in European

football is still uncertain.

”I am very lucky. I am 37 years old and I got offered a lot of

offers, more offers now than I have probably had in my career, at

my age,” Beckham said. ”I am very honored about that. I chose

Paris because I can see what the club are trying to do, the players

the club are trying to bring in. It’s an exciting city, always has

been, always will be.”

Beckham was close to joining PSG last year, discussing a

potential move with sporting director Leonardo as PSG desperately

chased a big name to match its new-found status and seemingly

endless funds from its Qatari backers.

But the move fell through and PSG moved on to other targets,

capturing striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his AC Milan teammate Thiago

Silva, Napoli winger Ezequiel Lavezzi and Brazilian prodigy


”I felt last year that I still had something to achieve in Los

Angeles. I won the championship in the last year of my contract and

yes, we spoke to Leo a number of times but I think we both came to

the thought that it wasn’t the right time,” Beckham said. ”So we

parked it and decided that right now is the right time because I

was at the end of my contract last year. I accepted one more year

in Los Angeles, I won another championship, another trophy in Los

Angeles and I believe it was the right time to leave.”

Early Thursday, the move was finally done. And shortly before

noon, the much-traveled Beckham made the short flight to Paris.

”This literally all happened at 1 a.m. this morning and was

finalized when I got on the plane at 11 a.m.,” Beckham said.

”Right now, I have a few things to sort out with my children and

the schooling and a few other things. I have been training at

Arsenal. My fitness won’t take long to get up to speed. I

definitely won’t be fit for next Friday. A few weeks and I’ll be up

to speed.”

While he was on the flight, Beckham agreed on a novel way of

putting his big salary to good use.

”We decided on something that is quite unique – I won’t receive

any salary. We have decided that my salary will go towards a local

children’s charity in Paris. And that’s one of things we are very

excited and proud to be able to do,” he said. ”It’s something I’m

not sure has been done before, and it’s something I’m very

passionate about, children and the charity side of things, and so

are the club. We came together and it’s something special.”

Although Beckham’s deal runs out in June, he intends to carry on

playing, although whether or not that will still be with PSG

remains to be decided. However, he is eager to have a long-term

role at the club.

”We slightly brushed over it, a long-term partnership is what

we have looked for,” he said. ”Short-term is playing but

long-term is something we are very proud to be part of this

organization that will grow and become one of the biggest in


Immaculately dressed and groomed, Beckham was a model of

elegance and calm as camera crews and photographers jostled for the

best positions amid frenzied scenes in a tightly packed press room.

He even joked that he feels much younger than his age.

”To be the elder statesman, I’m very proud of that,” Beckham

said. ”No matter what my age is, I still feel 21 years old – most