PARIS (AP) — With fans chanting his name, David Beckham began his final home game before retirement as captain of Paris Saint-Germain.
The 38-year-old Englishman was given a rousing reception at Parc des Princes before the French League match with Brest. Spectators broke into chants of "Merci, David" when his name was read over the stadium speaker.
PSG's players walked out to a thunderous reception, with Nirvana's "Smells like Teen Spirit" reverberating through the stadium. PSG right back Christophe Jallet dyed his hair in the blue, white and red of the French flag while the players all wore next season's team jerseys.
The game brought a stronger security presence, with about 150 riot police forming a ring inside the stadium in the second half. The show of force follows Monday night's riots at Trocadero plaza, where a celebration to mark the French title turned violent.
This was Beckham's 14th game and fifth start since joining PSG in a surprise move on the last day of the transfer window. He was appointed captain before the game.
PSG clinched the league title last weekend, making Beckham the first English player to win the championship in four countries after title success with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The former England captain announced Thursday he is retiring at the end of the season. He has yet to say if he will play in PSG's last game, at Lorient on May 26.
Beckham was involved in the opening goal in the seventh minute. His free kick found Clement Chantome, whose pass released Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he broke into the penalty area down the right side. Ibrahimovic struck the ball into the opposite corner.
Ibrahimovic almost scored a minute later when Beckham's superb long pass sent him through, but the imposing Swede hesitated between heading the ball over goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux or taking it past him. Theabaux snatched the ball from him.
Beckham set up the second goal in the 32nd with a corner kick from the left. Blaise Matuidi's poorly hit ball bounced into the ground and looped over Thebaux's outstretched arm. Ibrahimovic blasted in a free kick from 30 yards into the top left corner for the third goal, setting a personal record with his 29th league goal of the season.
Early in the second half, Beckham almost set up striker Kevin Gameiro with a curling cross from the right that the striker headed wide.
- Sports & Recreation
- David Beckham
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic