David Beckham seems have won over his French media doubters after producing a solid performance in his first start for Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, a 2-0 win over Marseille in the Coupe de France Round of 16. The former LA Galaxy midfielder lasted 86 minutes and was influential throughout, setting up the second goal with a fantastic cross-field ball from which Zlatan Ibrahimovic earned a penalty. The big Swede may have scored both goals, but it was Beckham who stole the headlines.
Le Parisien’s headline read, "Beckham passes his true test." The French daily applauded the former England captain for playing to his strengths. "Beckham played it like Beckham. He played one-touch soccer, sometimes two, adding fluency to the PSG midfield and he served up some delicious passes, cooked to perfection, at the right time. He was a model of sobriety, defending upright, tackling rarely and distributing his passes like an American football quarterback."
After the game, PSG sporting director Leonardo, Beckham’s coach when he played at AC Milan, said the veteran midfielder’s display came as no surprise. "We only signed Beckham to pose for photos, to give press conferences and to sell shirts,” he said ironically. “Seriously, it's down to you to judge these things, you experts and extraordinary football pundits that said these sorts of things. You didn't know David Beckham before; me, I knew him."
PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi added: "Beckham had a great match. He proved to everybody that he's still a soccer player and not just there for the marketing and I'm very happy with his performance in the match."