Ancelotti: Beckham can be PSG's Giggs
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti on Friday compared David Beckham to his former team-mate Ryan Giggs, who has just agreed a new contract to keep him at Manchester United for a further season.
Giggs, 39, will remain at Old Trafford until the summer of 2014, meaning he will have completed 23 full seasons at the club.
Beckham left United for Real Madrid in 2003 and, a decade later, he is settling into his short-term deal at PSG, for whom he made his full debut against Marseille in midweek.
Ancelotti chose a mocking tone when asked at a Friday press briefing whether 37-year-old Beckham’s performance in the French Cup tie had surprised him.
“It is the fact that he played football that was surprising,” Ancelotti said, ironically.
“Some people think that he doesn’t play football,” he added, with speculation rife that Beckham was signed first and foremost as a marketing ploy by a club trying to improve its brand name.
“Giggs has signed a new contract, and I think Beckham can do the same thing.
“We haven’t thought about a contract extension, in the coming months there will be time to make a decision on the future.”
When asked by sports daily L’Equipe on Friday whether he thought he could carry on playing as long as Giggs, Beckham said: “He is still playing at the highest level and doesn’t seem to want to stop.
“But maybe in the end I will go on longer.”
Beckham, who slotted seamlessly into the centre of PSG’s midfield against Marseille, and is in the squad for Saturday’s Ligue 1 trip to Reims, added: “I know that I only have a six-month contract, but I really want to contribute to making PSG a great club.
“At my age, I can’t have a two or three-year contract. I’m just taking things one year at a time. If I continue to feel in such good shape, I will keep playing.”
Meanwhile, Ancelotti played down the verbal exchange between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marseille’s Joey Barton in Wednesday’s Cup tie, when the Englishman taunted his opponent, calling him “fucking big nose”.
“Zlatan knows very well that he has quite a big nose,” the Italian joked.
“I don’t think he took it badly, especially as it was Barton that said it.”
Injured duo Christophe Jallet and Thiago Motta will both miss PSG’s visit to Champagne country, while Brazilian left-back Maxwell has been rested and Thiago Silva is not in the squad.
The central defender has all but recovered from a thigh injury suffered against Ajaccio last month, but will be preserved for next Wednesday’s Champions League last 16, second leg, against Valencia.
“Physically, he has recovered, but I don’t know if it’s necessary to take a risk,” said Ancelotti, who also admitted that Beckham is likely to start Saturday’s game on the bench.
PSG go into the game three points clear of Lyon at the top of Ligue 1, while opponents Reims sit just a single point above the relegation zone.