Having made his Paris Saint-Germain debut on Sunday evening, David Beckham is now set to start his first game for the French side in the last-16 of the French Cup.
Beckham, 38, made his first appearance in French football after coming as a substitute in a Ligue 1 top of the table clash versus Marsielle. But now PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti says the global icon is ready to start and play a possible full 90 minutes.
It’s set to be Beckham vs Barton part 2, having seen the two English-men go head-to-head at the weekend. The game certainly made us all a lot wiser on the abilities of the two contrasting players, in a battle dubbed by the French press as ‘Angel vs Demon’.
It has been clear all season, and from the performance of Joey Barton at the weekend, that he is a very capable footballer, and for those who were already unaware, he is excelling in France’s top division. His role in the Marseille team, currently 3rd in Ligue 1, is to effectively warden the midfield, much like you would expect; but perhaps a role that has previously gone unnoticed in Barton’s game is his play-making and creative side.
Similar comparisons can be made with ‘Le Spice Boy’, who although does not get ‘stuck in’ as much as his compatriot, does possess a useful ability to pick out lengthy passes, that we are all so used to witnessing.
Beckham’s cameo at the weekend impressed many, and perhaps raised a few eyebrows. After several seasons in the MLS, a perceived lower level of football, Beckham’s step up to the higher levels of European football was understandably creating questions. However, during his first spell on the Parc De Paris pitch he succeeded in proving the doubters wrong. Beckham instantly got up to the pace of the game, and managed to help PSG double their 1-0 lead.
But it was the instrumental pass from Beckham in that 2nd goal that really caught the eye. Slightly on the turn, on the edge of the box, Beckham used the outside of his right foot to curve a lofted ball through to Jeremy Menez who played in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It was a delicate little ‘dink’ that quite simply made the move.
This Wednesday’s last-16 match between the two sides gives Marseille a chance to end the current path to glory that PSG are on and get pay-back following Sunday’s defeat. With Beckham set for a possible full game, it will be intriguing again to see him take on Barton, as we get further insight into the abilities of two-players who have been focused more on their off the field stories in the recent past.