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David Beckham's PSG move branded a 'media stunt'

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David Beckham's move to Paris Saint Germain (PSG) has been branded a "media stunt".

The 37-year-old was at Parc De Prince yesterday for a press conference announcing his five-month deal with the Ligue 1 team.

British soccer player David Backham, speaks during a press conference, in at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

© PA Images / AP Photo/Michael Euler



Beckham will effectively be playing for free during his time at PSG, as he will donate his six-figure weekly wage to a local children's charity in Paris.

This generous act has ensured positive coverage over the move, but others have questioned why the super-wealthy PSG want such a player.

L'Equipe reporter Damien Degorre, a specialist on PSG, does not believe that Beckham will give much footballing advantage to manager Carlo Ancelotti.

"This is nothing more than a media stunt," he told BBC Sport. "What is Beckham the footballer going to bring to PSG at this stage of his career?"

Beckham will compete with Jeremy Menez, €45m new signing Lucas Moura and €39.8 million Argentine star Javier Pastore for one of three places in PSG's attacking midfield, meaning he is far from guaranteed game time.

This has prompted some in France to suggest that the deal is more about using Beckham's huge global stardom to boost the profile of PSG as a club and his own commercial appeal.

Former PSG defender Milan Bisevac, who now plays for Ligue 1 title chasers Lyon, said: "It's good for the marketing department, but is it a good signing from a football perspective? I'm certainly not more afraid of PSG than I was."

David Beckham, Parc des Princes, Paris, Paris St Germain

© PA Images



At 37 years of age Beckham is reaching the end of his career. He has previously worked with PSG sporting director Leonardo during loan spells at AC Milan and impressed the Brazilian with his hard work and dedication.

But it is unclear whether Ancelotti is so enthusiastic. The Italian had previously dismissed the chance of Beckham joining the club, and instead focused on trying to gel together his £200m+ squad of superstars.

Whilst Beckham remains a talented footballer, it is his commercial pull that makes him such a valuable signing for clubs, not just in terms of shirt sales but also profile.

MLS executive vice-president of communications, Dan Courtemanche, said last November that Beckham had "over-delivered by every measure" during his six-year spell at LA Galaxy.

After Beckham joined Galaxy in 2006 from Real Madrid, MLS increased from 12 to 19 teams and saw a 231% increase in merchandise sales.

Signing Beckham will bring massive global publicity for PSG, which is owned by Qatar Sports Investment (QSI), an investment vehicle for the Qatari royal family. But it will also help Ligue 1 as a whole.

PSG's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is also a director of Al Jazeera Sports, the Middle Eastern broadcaster that has invested heavily in Ligue 1 TV rights.

Beckham in a PSG shirt will help boost the league's profile and so make it more marketable worldwide. The move could also lay the foundations for him to work with Qatar as the country prepares to host the World Cup in 2022.

Beckham has not ruled out the possibility of extending his stay at PSG beyond five months and said that he does not "see this as a short-term project".

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