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David Beckham joins French club Paris St. Germain (LIVE VIDEO)

Beckham returns to Europe after flying to France to sign with deep-pocketed Paris St. Germain.
Beckham Olympic flameEnlarge
David Beckham carries the Olympic torch in Cornwall, England, on May 18, 2012. The torch relay starts Saturday at Land's End, the southwest tip of England, on an 8,000-mile journey around the UK to Olympic Stadium for the opening of the Games on July 27. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Former England international and Manchester United captain David Beckham arrived in Paris in his private jet on Thursday to sign with Paris St. Germain (PSG).

Beckham was pictured in Paris completing a standard medical exam before giving a news conference (see video below).

PSG has spent hundreds of millions of dollars under manager Carlo Ancelotti to buy other football stars, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Beckam's signing is a coup for PSG's Qatari President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who's bankrolling efforts to establish the Parisian club among soccer's biggest hitters. He unsuccessfully tried to lure Beckham from LA Galaxy a year ago with a reported million-dollar-a-month salary.

The news generated heated criticism at the time. Today Beckham said he would receive no salary. "It will go to a local children's charity in Paris," he said. "It's something exciting and I'm very proud to do."

Beckham says he chose PSG because of its long-term project to become a powerhouse in Europe.

Al-Khelaifi's money has revitalized the team since he took over in 2011. The club is currently top of the French league, driven by the goals of Swedish striker Ibrahimovic, who was signed from AC Milan.

 

Beckham, 37, recently said he's confident he's still able to play top-flight football after his time in America's less competitive Major League Soccer.

"I still feel like I have something left in me as a player," he said.

Although Beckham is sure to bring in the crowds and boost the club's merchandising power, however, there are plenty of doubts about the contribution he'll make on the field.

"In soccer terms this is of no interest," soccer journalist Pierre Menes told the fan site www.paristeam.fr. "Maybe the goal is to create an international buzz, with Victoria doing her shopping on the [ultra chic] Avenue Montaigne, but that doesn't interest me."

 

Beckham is commonly referred to in France as "Le Spice Boy" for his marriage to Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, who perfomred as Posh Spice.

However, there was disappointment for glamor seekers: Beckham said Victoria would stay in London with their children.

Still, Posh and Becks should give back Paris some of the bling-bling style that's been lacking in the capital since President Nicloas Sarkozy and his glamorous wife Carla Bruni left the presidential palace last year.

Beckham mania is already gripping the French press: "Le Pop Star Beckham lands in Paris," headlined the website of Europe 1 radio.

Among the speculation is how the notoriously temperamental Ibrahimovic will react to sharing the limelight with the Englishman who will be the oldest outfield player in the French league.

Here's a live stream of the ongoing PSG press conference:


LIVE PSG TV
by PSG

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/david-beckham-joins-french-club-paris-st-germain-live-vide