Former England captain David Beckham has joined the French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on a five-month contract.
The 37-year-old former England captain was presented at a news conference on Thursday at the French club’s Parc des Princes stadium. PSG said he signed a five-month deal.
Under Qatari ownership PSG have joined the ranks of the biggest spenders in world football and already boast a galaxy of top international talent including flamboyant Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and recently acquired Brazilian starlet Lucas Moura.
Nasser al-Khelaifi, PSG’s Qatari president, said: “We’re very happy to welcome David Beckham to Paris Saint-Germain. He will be joining for five months until 30 June.”
Beckham has been without a club since ending a five-and-half-year spell in the US last month after winning a second MLS Cup with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Beckham was reported to have had a medical in Paris before he was unveiled by PSG.
“I chose here because I can see what the club are trying to do, the players they’re bringing in,” said Beckham, predicting PSG would have “a lot of success in the next 15 to 20 years”.
Beckham, who made 115 appearances for England [a national record for an outfield player], first came to prominence at Manchester United and helped the club win the Treble in 1999 when they took the English Premier League, FA Cup and European Champions League titles.
This time last year, in the corresponding January transfer window, he was also linked with a move to PSG which never materialised.
But Beckham, who played for Spanish giants Real Madrid after leaving United and later had two loan spells at AC Milan, opted to remain in the US.
Beckham has been training with Arsenal of late, he is one of football’s most high-profile players and married to the former pop star turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham.
But Arsene Wenger, the Premier League club’s French manager, insisted he had no intention of signing Beckham in this transfer window, which closed later on Thursday.
Beckham previously trained with Arsenal in January 2010 during a break from the MLS season and two years ago had a similar training spell with the Gunners’ north London rivals Tottenham.
Renowned as a ‘dead-ball’ specialist for the quality of his delivery from free-kicks and corners, Beckham rose through the ranks at Old Trafford as one of a crop of talented young players who flourished under the guidance of manager Alex Ferguson including Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville.
Beckham made his United debut aged 17 in 1992 and went on to win six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League with the English giants.
His England debut came in 1996 and two years later he was sent off during a last 16 defeat by Argentina at the 1998 World Cup in France, an incident that led to Beckham briefly becoming a hate figure with many English fans.
Beckham’s relationship with Ferguson soured towards the end of his time at Old Trafford, with the veteran manager concerned about an increasingly high-profile that came as a result of the player’s marriage to Victoria, then a member of the Spice Girls pop group.
Ever since Beckham has faced accusations of being a “brand” whose fame and fortune far exceeds his football ability.