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
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