David Beckham could make his debut for Paris Saint-Germain in French soccer against the team’s archrival Marseille tonight.
The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder was named among the substitutes in coach Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for the game in Paris, one of the biggest rivalries in European soccer. The match started at 9 p.m. local time.
Earlier, Ancelotti said the 37-year-old former captain of England is “capable of playing a full match.”.
“He will be available, but I don’t want to reveal the team,” Ancelotti was cited as saying by Agence France-Presse. “He has worked well and is in a good state physically and mentally. He wants to play and he is in a condition to start.”
PSG leads the French league on goal difference from Lyon, which beat Lorient 3-1 this afternoon. Marseille is five points back in third place.
Beckham’s last competitive game was on Dec. 1 when he helped the LA Galaxy beat the Houston Dynamo 3-1 to retain the MLS Cup.
He’s on a five-month contract with PSG, which he joined at the end of January.
The club, backed by an investment arm of the Qatari government, has spent 250 million euros ($330 million) on players including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi as it seeks to join the world’s elite.
“I have played in a lot of big matches in my career, games like AC Milan against Inter, Real Madrid against Barcelona, and the Galaxy against Chivas,” Beckham told PSG’s website. “For me, it is very exciting to play in another very special match.”
Beckham could come up against another English player, as midfielder Joey Barton is on loan at Marseille from Queens Park Rangers, currently bottom of the Premier League.
To contact the reporter on this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty in London at firstname.lastname@example.org