Skip to main content

Beckham plays classic cameo role as PSG win Le Classique

updated 6:42 AM EST, Mon February 25, 2013
David Beckham acknowledges the crowd after making a winning debut for PSG against Marseille. David Beckham acknowledges the crowd after making a winning debut for PSG against Marseille.
HIDE CAPTION
Triumphant debut
Rapturous welcome
Star warm-up
Posh support
Early lead
Misfiring striker
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Beckham makes debut for Paris Saint Germain
  • Comes off the bench in crunch match against Marseille
  • PSG win match 2-0 to strengthen grip on French title
  • Inter Milan and AC Milan draw 1-1 in derby match

(CNN) -- He only played for the last 14 minutes, but David Beckham typically was the center of attention as his eagerly awaited debut for Paris Saint Germain ended in a crucial victory for the French league leaders Sunday.

PSG were leading third placed Marseille 1-0 in Le Classique at Parc des Princes when the former England captain came off the bench to a rapturous reception from the home supporters.

Some neat early passes showed he has lost none of his ability and the best was reserved for the very last as in the first minute of injury time Beckham's neat chip over the top led to the clinching second for PSG.

It found fellow substitute Jeremy Menez, whose cross was bundled home by PSG's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his 24th of the season.

David Beckham shows off undies in new ad
David Beckham's last U.S. game
David Beckham's U.S. soccer legacy
Beckham surprises fans at photo booth

It was all captured by a special 'Beck Cam' which host broadcaster Canal Plus had deployed to follow every move of the 37-year-old football icon, such has been the level of interest since his transfer to France's Ligue 1 from MLS side LA Galaxy.

Read: Beckham excited by Le Classique debut

Beckham had spent much of a freezing evening in Paris, shivering on the bench, while in the stands his pop star wife Victoria and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy awaited his arrival on the pitch.

His former Real Madrid teammate and Brazil World Cup star Ronaldo was also honored ahead of kick off.

In the 76th minute, with PSG having to fight hard to hold a lead given to them by an early own goal from Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou, coach Carlo Ancelotti finally threw him into the fray to replace Argentina's Javier Pastore.

The match had been billed as a showdown between Beckham and fellow Englishman Joey Barton, who plays in midfield for Marseille.

Barton, on loan from EPL side Queens Park Rangers, played the whole match and had some half chances to level while Beckham watched on.

The timely victory left big-spending PSG three points clear at the top from Lyon, who had beaten Lorient earlier Sunday. Defeat left Marseille eight points adrift.

Beckham, who has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and LA Galaxy during his glittering career, has signed a contract with the Parisian giants until the end of the season.

He has donated his reported 800,000-euro ($1 million) monthly salary to a local children's charity.

Meanwhile, AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli had a less fruitful evening in his first Milan derby match for three years.

Read: Italy's 'proud' football racists

Balotelli, signed in the transfer window from Manchester City, missed a string of chances as his side were held 1-1 by his former side Inter, damaging their Serie A title hopes.

Milan, boosted by their 2-0 midweek win over Barcelona in the Champions League, took a 21st minute lead through striker Stephan El Shaarawy.

Balotelli had three clear chances to add to their lead in the San Siro before Inter midfielder Ezequiel Schelotto leveled in the 71st minute.

Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.