Sports

Ancelotti: Beckam could start against Marseille

Paris Saint Germain’s soccer player David Beckham (centre) attends his first training session with PSG squad at the Camp des Loges training center in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. — Reuters picParis Saint Germain’s soccer player David Beckham (centre) attends his first training session with PSG squad at the Camp des Loges training center in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. — Reuters picPARIS, Feb 24 — Former England captain David Beckham could start when his new French side Paris St Germain host big rivals Olympique Marseille today (2000 GMT), manager Carlo Ancelotti said. 

The 37-year-old, who has not played since winning the US Major League Soccer title with Los Angeles Galaxy in December, has been included in the Ligue 1 leaders’ squad for the first time since joining the wealthy club last month. 

“He may start because he’s fit enough,” Ancelotti told a news conference last night. 

“I’m not surprised because I know him well. He’s always focused, he works hard every day, he’s a great professional,” added the Italian, who coached Beckham during the Englishman’s first spell on loan at AC Milan in 2009. 

“If I start him, he could play 60, 70 minutes. If he comes off the bench, he could play 30, 40 minutes.” 

Beckham, who made his name as a winger with Manchester United and Real Madrid, has spent the last three weeks training to get match fit after a break following his exit from the Galaxy. He joined PSG on a five-month deal. 

Should Beckham be named in the starting lineup, he might fill a deep midfield position as Thiago Motta is still out with a thigh injury. 

Forwards Jeremy Menez and Lucas are back in the squad after minor injuries ruled them out of the defeat at lowly Sochaux last weekend but PSG are without centre backs Thiago Silva and Mamadou Sakho. 

The former, who has been sidelined for a month, was expected to return after a thigh problem but Ancelotti did not name the Brazilian in his 19-man squad. 

France’s Sakho initially made the squad but Ancelotti dropped him later because of an injury, saying he would be out of action for a couple of days. 

PSG are top of the standings with 51 points from 25 games, three points ahead of Olympique Lyon and five above third-placed Marseille. — Reuters