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Sport

PSG president wants to keep Beckham in Paris

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-04-01

The president of the Paris Saint-Germain football club, Nasser al Khelaifi, has told France’s sports daily L’EQUIPE he wants to keep British star David Beckham on his squad next year.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) president Nasser al Khelaifi has said his football club wants to keep star midfielder David Beckham and coach Carlo Ancelotti through next season.

“He is very happy. Frankly, we want to keep him with us for the next season,” Khelaifi told the French sports daily L’EQUIPE in an interview published on Monday.

“[Beckham] is fantastic on and off the field,” he added “Sometimes you can make bad choices, but recruiting David was one of my best decisions. As a man, player, ambassador, he is exceptional... everyone loves him.”

PSG, who are enjoying a comfortable lead at the top of France’s Ligue 1 standings, face FC Barcelona at home in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

Khelaifi, a Qatari sports and media tycoon at the head of PSG since 2011, played down expectations for the much-hyped football clash. “We’re taking on the best team in the world. [The players] are going to give 200%... it will be an enormous challenge.”

Beckham, 37, a former captain of England’s national team, signed a five-month contract with PSG in January. He is among a handful of high-profile and expensive international recruits brought in by Khelaifi over the past two years.

Squashing Ancelotti exit rumours

In the interview Khelaifi also insisted that Italian Carlo Ancelotti would continue to be PSG’s coach next year, dismissing rumours the former AC Milan coach was on his way out.

“Everyone is wondering about the future of Carlo Ancelotti,” Khelaifi said in reference to reports that the trainer was preparing a departure for Real Madrid at the end of the season. “There is what the newspapers say, and then there are the facts: he is still under contract for one year.”

Arcelotti, who joined the Paris club in January 2012, was criticised along with the rest of the PSG staff last summer for failing to win any silverware despite the club outspending its rivals by more than 20 to 1.

Khelaifi noted that this season PSG were seven points ahead of arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille, and had reached the quarter-finals stage of the Champions League tournament. “That’s good work,” he said of Ancelotti’s record so far.

Date created : 2013-04-01

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