• Ligue 1

Beckham wins over Ibrahimovic

ESPN staff
March 19, 2013
St Etienne draw with PSG

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes David Beckham has defied his critics since moving to France and will be influential in his side's Champions League tie with Barcelona.

Beckham, 37, moved to Paris amid much conjecture, with many claiming he would be more benefit to PSG off the pitch than on it.

But Ibrahimovic believes Beckham, who played a full 90 minutes in PSG's 2-2 draw with St Etienne on Sunday, has proved he is still capable of competing with Europe's elite.

"I think anybody who thought David was past his best when he signed for us is now very quiet," Ibrahimovic told The Sun. "That man on the pitch for us looked 25.

"Central midfield is the position where you need the most energy. He showed he is not only one of the best passers in the world but that he can still be tough in the tackle and run for 90 minutes.

"David will be so important for us in the Champions League. Not just on the pitch, but also off it. He has so much experience of playing in big Champions League games."

PSG host Barcelona in the first leg of their quarter-final tie on April 2 and coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Beckham's Champions League experience with Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan will benefit the Parisiens as he proved in the round of 16.

"I think David was very important for us, especially at the beginning when he was sitting deep," Ancelotti said. "He played very well."

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