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SPORTS
16 Sep 2011
DAVID BECKHAM WANTED BY PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has revealed he would like to bring David Beckham to the club.

Leonardo told BBC Sport: "I coached him at AC Milan [where Beckham, 36, was loaned from MLS side LA Galaxy] and we created a good relationship.

"He is more than a football player, but when you see him every day he trains and plays like a kid.

"He is someone that I really appreciate and admire so much - his values and everything he has done in football."

When asked whether the Qatari-owned club would consider signing the former England captain, Leonardo said: "The door is open. He is more than a football player - he's a brand, a pop star. I would always consider him.

"He respects the rules, listens to you and wants the best for the team. That's why for me he is a big example. I worked with him and that's why I talk about his name."

PSG, who last won the French league title in 1994, were Europe's second biggest spenders in the summer transfer window, with an outlay of £75.6m - just £3m less than Manchester City.


Former Brazil international Leonardo was hired by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) to revamp the Ligue 1 club and in just two months the former AC Milan and Inter coach has used his extensive contacts to reshape the PSG squad.

Half of that £75.6m was used to buy Argentine star Javier Pastore, who credited Leonardo with persuading him to join the club.

PSG spent six times more than French champions Lille, who brought in Liverpool's Joe Cole on loan.

Beckham's contract with LA Galaxy runs out at the end of the Major League Soccer season, but he has already been linked with Premier League clubs Spurs and QPR and he is keen to be a member of the Great Britain squad at the London Olympics next summer.


As well as the recruitment of players, Leonardo spoke about the importance of creating a new brand for PSG to enable them to compete with Europe's top clubs in the Champions League.

"We have the Eiffel Tower in our club badge - we have to use that - it's not only French, but a worldwide brand," said Leonardo.

Former LA Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas has talked of the "incredible" impact Beckham's arrival in the United States in 2007 had on the MLS club in boosting shirt sales, sponsorship and appearance fees, as well as helping to make the Galaxy brand "international".

Established in 2005 by the son of the Emir and heir to the Qatari throne - Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani - QSI has a five-year plan to turn the sleeping Parisian giants into a major European powerhouse. The club finished fourth in last season's Ligue 1 and qualified for the Europa League.

During the transfer window, PSG also tried to sign Dimitar Berbatov, Adel Taarabt, Samir Nasri and Brazilians Ganso and Neymar.

Qatar is attempting to build on its controversial success in winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Qatar Foundation last year signed a £126m sponsorship deal with Barcelona - a first for the Spanish champions and Champions League winners - while another member of the Qatari ruling family bought Spanish club Malaga last year.

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