SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE, France – David Beckham started his first practice session with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday amid a media frenzy as dozens of camera crews and photographers jostled for position at the club’s training ground in the western suburbs of Paris.
The 37-year-old former England captain joined PSG two weeks ago in a surprise move and is working on his fitness to be ready for Sunday’s match at Sochaux. If he does not get up to speed for that game, he could play the week after at home against French title rival Marseille.
Beckham is trying to achieve the feat of winning championships in four different countries following title success with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy. He made his last appearance for the Galaxy on Dec. 1.
Camera crews from countries like England and Sweden packed a balcony overlooking the Camp des Loges training complex as Beckham jogged and took part in light training drills with his new teammates.
At one stage, Beckham took off his football boots and was wearing only his socks as he did some sprint work in a sand pit, designed to improve his stamina, resistance and leg strength.
After the others had finished training, Beckham then spoke for a few minutes with one of the club’s fitness trainers before walking off and waving as photographers shouted his name.
Fans were not allowed inside the training complex to watch the hour-long session but about 200 supporters braved the cold conditions and mingled among the police vans scattered outside as they waited for a glimpse of Beckham when he arrived and left.
Beckham joined PSG on a five-month contract which expires in June and has not yet said whether he will continue playing after that.
PSG beat Valencia 2-1 in the first leg of the last 16 in Spain on Tuesday in the Champions League and could be in contention to play in the return leg at Parc des Princes on March 6.
Although Beckham joined on a free transfer — pledging to donate his wages to a children’s charity — he is one of several big names in the expensive team, along with Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi, Brazil centre half Thiago Silva and Brazil winger Lucas.
PSG leads Lyon by six points and Marseille by eight with 14 matches remaining.