‘David Beckham`s reputation exceeds his football skills’
Paris: David Ginola has dismissed the arrival of David Beckham at Paris Saint-Germain as no more than a "marketing coup" for the Qatari-owned French giants.
The 37-year-old signed a five-month deal with PSG on transfer deadline day, and could make his Ligue 1 debut in Sunday`s crunch clash with rivals Marseille.
But Ginola finds it hard to believe the transfer was rooted in footballing merit, and is convinced Beckham`s biggest impact will be to generate global commercial and media interest in his new club.
"Strategically, this is a great idea. It’s a marketing coup in the Anglo-Saxon way," he told Le Parisien.
"People have now heard of PSG in the other corner of the world. By announcing that his salary will be donated to charity associations, they created a dramatic effect, a communication effect.
"By his presence, Beckham creates an interest in the world in favour of PSG.”
"His qualities have made him one of the best players in the world but it is very difficult to locate him precisely in a hierarchy.”
"You can try to compare (Lionel) Messi with Cristiano Ronaldo. But who can we compare with Beckham? One thing is for sure, his reputation has exceeded his pure football skills."
But despite his cynicism, Ginola believes Beckham himself remains sincere in his desire for footballing success.
"He takes all the things that come to him head on," he added. "His family life, his advertising contracts and life as a footballer. And he gives the impression of not being satisfied.
"Becks has 37 years and, despite the money and fame, he always wants to get hurt in training.
"Apart from his beautiful right foot, he was really nasty sometimes. Far from the image of an aesthete, he could also show a more aggressive side. He spared no efforts in his flank and participated in defensive work.
"I`m sure his state of mind has not changed."