David Beckham has revealed he will be donating the entire salary from his new contract with Paris St Germain (PSG) to a children’s charity in Paris.
In what is believed to be a world first, David Beckham, 37, will be donating around $5 million to the cause – if reports of his $250,000-a-week salary are correct.
Confirming his new role at a press conference in Paris on Thursday, David Beckham explained the philanthropic move, saying: “For me it’s always been about playing football, I considered other offers on the table. But one of the reasons I wanted to come to Paris was quite unique.
“We’ve decided my salary will go towards a local children’s charity in Paris and that’s one of the things we’re very excited and proud to be able to do. I’m not sure it’s been done before but it’s something I’m very passionate about.”
While not confirming the exact sum that would be donated, David Beckham did say: “I’m pleased that we can give a huge sum to a children’s charity in Paris – it’s very special.”
David Beckham also revealed that his wife Victoria and their four children will not be moving to France to accompany him during his five-month contract with the team, because the kids are enrolled in schools in London.
He said: “I am excited it’s something that we’ve been talking about for quite a while and now it’s finally happened. My wife and children will be staying in London because the children go to school there now.”
David Beckham also revealed that he will be needing to brush up on his French before his contract with the team begins.
He laughed: “My French? I haven’t spoken French for quite a few years, since I was at school, so I’ll definitely have to brush up on it.”
Asked by a reporter to demonstrate his grasp of the language with a French phrase, David Beckham kept it simple by just saying: “Bonjour!”
David Beckham added of the move: “I’m very lucky. I’m 37 years old and I got a lot of offers. I’ve had more offers now than I’ve had in my career at my age so I’m very honored by that.
“I chose Paris because I can see what the club are trying to do – I can see the players they’re trying to bring up and the kind of club they will be in 15-20 years time.
“I’m not saying I’m going to be playing in 15-20 years but to be part of something like this is very exciting. I’m very excited and honored to be here.”
Asked why he signed for PSG and not another British team, David Beckham, who has played for teams including Manchester United, said: “I’ve always said I would never want to play for another English club. Manchester United is the team I support and it’s the team I always have supported.
“I’ve always said I don’t want to play for a team unless it’s Manchester United. I’ve had 13 or 14 championship trophies throughout my career, and I’ve played with some of the biggest and best clubs in the world.
“I’m 37 and I’m still fit, I can run around and play like I did when I was 21. I haven’t lost pace because I never really had a lot of pace.”
David Beckham was also asked why he had decided on a five-month contract instead of something more long-term.
He said: “I don’t see that it’s a short term project it might be a short term project for me playing but there’s a lot happening in this club with these owners. Whatever club I’ve gone to and whatever team I’ve played for, I’ve worked hard.
“I don’t expect to come into this team and play every game – I need to work hard. I don’t automatically expect a place in the starting eleven. I might have only signed a contract until the end of the season but I consider myself to be part of helping this club to grow, help the French league to grow and become one of the biggest powerhouses in football.”
David Beckham also revealed that another reason he signed with PSG was because he wanted to take on a new challenge.
He said: “Obviously I’ve played in Europe for a number of years and every time I’ve come up against a French team it’s been the most difficult games. At Real Madrid, the games we played in Lyon and Marseille were some of the toughest.
“The French league is full of talented players and teams. There’s a lot of talent here and it’s a difficult league. I’ve always loved a challenge whatever the league, whatever the club and whatever the culture.”
David Beckham also said he is hoping that the contract with PSG won’t be his last.