David Beckham Transfer: What Signing Beckham Means for Paris Saint-Germain

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2013

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31:  International soccer player David Beckham poses with his PSG  Football shirt after his PSG signature at Parc des Princes on January 31, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)
Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

David Beckham ended a month of speculation about his footballing future by signing a five-month contract with French Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain on transfer deadline day.

Having won the MLS Cup with LA Galaxy in December, Beckham ended his five-year stay in the US to return to Europe for a final stint at the top level of club football.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United midfielder's playing deal might be only a short-term one, but Beckham has hinted that this is just the beginning of his involvement with the French club (via Sports Illustrated).

We slightly brushed over it [what happens at the end of the season], a long-term partnership is what we have looked for. Short-term is playing but long-term is something we are very proud to be part of this organisation that will grow and become one of the biggest in Europe.

Even so, Beckham might have been expected to be a fairly costly addition to the playing staff, until it emerged that he will be donating his entire salary to a local children's charity in Paris.

Praising new teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, showing respect to the "sporting project" of the club and casually mentioning the princely donation in passing, Beckham's opening hour as a PSG player could hardly have been more smoothly choreographed if it was timed so that he left the press conference to head straight onto the pitch and score the winning goal.

Beckham is a phenomenon in terms of his media power, his longevity and, lest it be forgotten, in terms of what he has won as a professional footballer.

Having tasted success at Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy, he will be hoping to help PSG one step further than they went last season and claim their first Ligue 1 championship title since 1994.

With the club having spent lavish sums on some of Europe's biggest names, Zlatan being just one of them, there is certainly plenty of expectancy on head coach Carlo Ancelotti to bring the title home. Ancelotti and Beckham of course worked together when the latter was on loan at AC Milan, where Leonardo, PSG's current Director of Football, also held a similar position.

There is clearly plenty of trust in Beckham as an individual, and the player himself still believes he has plenty to give on the pitch.

37 years old he might be, but PSG have worked hard during this transfer window to make space in the team to prepare for his arrival.

Momo Sissoko, currently on AFCON duty with Mali, is set to move for the remainder of the season on loan to Fiorentina. Mathieu Bodmer may yet also leave the club.

Bringing Beckham to Paris has not impressed everybody, though (as Matt Spiro via BBC):

...not everyone is convinced by Beckham's claims he can bring PSG something extra on the pitch. L'Equipe journalist Damien Degorre just told me he thinks Beckham's arrival is 'nothing more than a media stunt'.

Of course there will be some who think that the move does not have its sporting relevance, but that's nothing new to Beckham. Even as far back as when he left for Real Madrid, there were question marks over whether they signed him for his on-field value or his commercial one.

Time and time again he has proved doubters wrong, both in the stands and those who share the sentiments of Degorre.

PSG will simply be trusting that there is still something he has to offer the club with his experience, his winning mentality and the technique that he will bring to the side.

Beckham may not be called upon to play 90 minutes every week, but if he offers composure and creativity on the ball for an hour, or even half an hour, when selected by Ancelotti, then there is every chance that he will add a French title which he has contributed significantly to, to go along with those from England, Spain and the US.

Beckham in Paris might only be a short story, but it can certainly be just another successful chapter in one of the very best of footballing tales of recent times.