From CHARLIE WYETT
DAVID BECKHAM admits he was delighted to make an instant impact with his new club last night — but revealed he was nervous.
The ex-England star made his Ligue 1 debut as a 76th-minute sub for PSG and played a major part in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late goal against Joey Barton’s Marseille side.
Cheered every time he touched the ball, Beckham used the outside of his right boot to find Jeremy Menez who crossed for Swedish star Ibrahimovic to score.
The former Real Madrid and Manchester United star is looking to become the first Englishman to win four titles in four different countries.
Becks, who before last night had not played since helping LA Galaxy to the MLS Cup on December 1, said: “Obviously it is a good start. It was nice to get out there as it seems to be quite a long time since I signed.
“It was good to make an impact. We had a tough 25 minutes and they had a few chances. We did not play as well as we can. The manager told me to go on and keep the ball and settle things down. Hopefully I did that.
“There were slight nerves. There was a bit of pressure. It has been tough getting up to speed as I took seven weeks off and did absolutely nothing. It was difficult to get back to fitness. But I felt good and the sharpness is coming back.
“It was good to play against the team who are in third place. It was a big game. It is the biggest game in France and a nice one to be part of.
“I could not feel my feet for the first two or three passes as they were frozen from being on the bench but I was happy with what I did. Now I will take it step by step. I knew I would never come here straight away and be in the starting XI.
“That will be like this for a while. As long as I can come on and make a difference, that is fine.”
“I want to push for a place to start. I have always known coming here, after Christmas, at my age, that it would be tough to get a starting place.”
PSG again play Marseille at the Parc Des Princes in the cup on Wednesday and Beckham has an outside chance of a start.
He was certainly a steadying influence last night as PSG were unconvincing after taking an 11th-minute lead through Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura.
Playing in central midfield, Becks’ first contribution was an excellent pass out wide to Ezequiel Lavezzi but he failed to control the ball.
Maybe too keen to impress, he attempted another difficult pass but it rolled out for a goal-kick. But in the dying moments, he played an excellent ball which led to the goal.
Not for the first time in his career, the arrival of Beckham has caused a certain amount of hysteria among locals.
TV station Canal Plus, who were screening the game, even had a ‘La Beck Cam’ option where viewers could feast their eyes on the golden boy.
He received a massive cheer when his name was read out five minutes before kick-off and he jogged out onto the pitch to a cover version of Hey Jude.
As you would expect, the quality is higher in Ligue 1 compared to the MLS, where Becks spent the previous 5½ years. But it is nothing like the Premier League.
Beckham added: “This was up there with all the big games. The atmosphere in the stadium and the reception I got was incredible. It makes it easier.”