Former LA Galaxy star and former England captain David Beckham on Thursday signed for Paris Saint-Germain in a five-month deal.
The 37-year-old midfielder — one of the world’s most recognisable sportsmen with a pop star cum designer wife, and an estimated net worth of £190 million (N47bn) — has been without a club since leaving Los Angeles Galaxy last year.
After a day of fevered speculation, the ex-Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan star was unveiled by the French league leaders at a packed news conference after a routine medical at a city hospital.
Club president Nasser Al Khalaifi told reporters he was delighted to have secured Beckham’s services until June 30 while the player himself said he was “excited and honoured” to be part of PSG’s plans to develop into a major European force.
“I chose here because I can see what the club are trying to do, the players they’re bringing in,” said Beckham, as he predicted PSG would have “a lot of success in the next 15 to 20 years”.
Beckham, whose family will remain in London, showed he did not move to Paris for the money as he revealed that he would donate his salary during his time in the French capital to a local children’s charity.
News of Beckham’s pending arrival lit up the final day of the January transfer window, a year after the former Old Trafford playmaker was first linked with a move to the Parc des Princes.
The deal with the father of four who is married to the former Spice Girl turned fashion designer Victoria, gives PSG’s ambitious Qatari owners a celebrity brand with the clout to tap new markets for the club, particularly in Asia.
“He’s more than a player. He’s a brand, a pop star,” said Leonardo in 2011 after making an initial approach to the player, who has a host of lucrative advertising and endorsement deals and is seen as much on red carpets as in the corridors of power.