Beckham makes PSG training bow
Published 14/02/2013 | 04:00
David Beckham has trained for the first time with his new Paris St Germain team-mates as the club began to dream of European success as well as the Ligue 1 title.
The 2-1 win over Valencia at the Mestalla has put PSG in a strong position ahead of the return leg at the Parc des Princes in three weeks' time.
By that time Beckham is expected to have made his French league debut, and it could come as soon as this weekend should he impress on the training pitch.
Access to PSG's Camp des Loges training base was open to a restricted number of media with the promise that Beckham would be involved, and the former England captain duly made his appearance wearing a red hat and pink boots.
PSG play Sochaux away from home on Sunday, with the match a sell-out in the anticipation Beckham, who has signed a five-month deal, could play his first game.
There is speculation that Beckham may be more likely to play against Marseille either in the league on Sunday week or in the Coupe de France three days later.
Should Beckham (pictured) be involved in any of the games, he would then be likely to have a role to play against Valencia.
PSG lead by six points in Ligue 1 after a run of fine form since the winter break and a dip from both Lyon and Marseille, their increasingly distant rivals.
The dismissal of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the closing stages on Tuesday night came as a setback, and he is certain to miss the home leg on March 6, plus possibly further games.
PSG sporting director Leonardo's immediate reaction was that an injustice had been done.
He claimed Ibrahimovic was only sent off because of his standing in the game. The dismissal came swiftly after Valencia pulled a goal back in stoppage-time, having trailed 2-0 until then.
"To concede a goal, that can happen due to fatigue," Leonardo said. "But the red card... I think Ibrahimovic pays for his reputation. If it was another player committing this foul, he wouldn't be sent off.
"Even when you lead 2-0, it's not easy," Leonardo said.
The Brazilian former World Cup winner stressed it was worth remembering the progress PSG have made since Qatar Sports Investments took control of the club in 2011.
"It's only been a year and a half since QSI took over the club," he said.
"We are still in the construction phase. Our ambition isn't only to win a match in the last 16 away from home. It's more than that.
"To win the Champions League? This year, I don't know. But after that..."