Friday Kickoff: Beckham hints at PSG stay, Benitez has owners backing, and more

Friday Kickoff: Beckham hints at PSG stay, Benitez has owners backing, and more

South American Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Beckham hints at PSG stay, Benitez has owners backing, and more

BY DAN KARELL

David Beckham’s stay in Paris may not end when the current season finishes in May.

During a promotional event for Adidas in the French capital, The Englishman hinted that he may want to stay with Paris Saint-Germain into next season. In response to a question about his contract going longer than five months, Beckham said “not yet it doesn’t.”

Beckham also claimed that him and his wife both have been taken aback by their reception in Paris, saying everyone has welcomed them in with open arms. The 37-year-old made his first start for the Parisian club on Wednesday, playing 86 minutes in central midfield during a 2-0 Coupe de France victory over Marseille.

Here are some more stories to start your Friday:

RAFA BENITEZ STILL HAS OWNER’S BACKING, DESPITE FAN CRITICISM

Rafa Benitez’s post-match tirade on Wednesday may have not helped him make any friends with the Chelsea supporters, but the Spaniard has insisted he isn’t going anywhere for the time being, describing his relationship with owner Roman Abramovich as “excellent.”

When Benitez took over Chelsea on November 22, he probably never thought that Chelsea fans would be as vocal about their disapproval in the former Liverpool boss’ appointment. Following the 2-0 FA Cup victory on Wednesday, Benitez said that those fans were the ones damaging the club, not him.

Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge on Saturday to face West Bromwich Albion, where Benitez is sure to face a hostile reception.

GIGGS SIGNS ON FOR ANOTHER SEASON

The iron man of soccer just won’t quit.

This morning, Ryan Giggs signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester United, the only club he has known, through 2014, which will see him play through his 40th birthday.

Giggs is set to make his one thousandth appearance in competitive matches when his club takes on Norwich on Saturday. Giggs’ appearance totals are split between Manchester United, Wales, and Team GB from this past summer’s Olympics.

The 39-year-old Welshman, who has a British record 12 Premier League titles, has scored five goals in twenty matches in all competitions for Manchester United this season.

LIBERTAD GOES TOP OF GROUP 2 IN COPA LIBERTADORES

Rounding off another busy, yet exciting week of Copa Libertadores action, Paraguayan club Libertad defeated Brazilian side Palmeiras 2-0, in a match that highlighted Thursday’s slate of games.

Libertad scored both goals off headers through open play, with the first coming from Pablo Velasquez in the 11th minute, and the second coming 10 minutes into the second half via the head of Pedro Benitez, eerily close to mirroring the first half’s effort, but at the other end of the pitch.

With the win, Libertad jumps to the top of Group 2 with six points from their first two games, followed by Sporting Cristal, Palmeiras, and Tigre in last position.

Speaking of Sporting Cristal and Tigre, those two sides met up on Thursday in Lima, Peru, with Sporting defeating their Argentinian counterparts 2-0 at home. Goals on either side of halftime from Renzo Sheput in the 30th minute, and Carlos Lobaton in the 58th minute condemned Tigre to their second straight defeat in the competition.

Also in action on Thursday night, Brazilian club Sao Paulo defeated The Strongest of Bolivia 2-1, with the Brazilian side coming back from an early 1-0 deficit. Newly returned Brazilian national team striker Luis Fabiano scored the game-winning goal off a square pass from teammate Ganso, giving Sao Paulo their first win in Group 3.

QUICK KICKS

AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy has signed a new contract with the Rossoneri through 2018. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has created controversy in Germany by attributing Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win over his side due to Munich’s absorbent spending policies. (REPORT)

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he would like a director’s role in the front office, when he finally steps down as manager. (REPORT)

Chelsea are considering the likes of former Blues players Gus Poyet, currently at Brighton and Hove Albion, and Gianfranco Zola, currently at Watford, to take over for Rafael Benitez in the summer. (REPORT)

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has insisted his side aren’t thinking about the revenge factor, as they prepare to face rivals Arsenal on Sunday. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Beckham staying at PSG past this summer? Do you believe that Benitez will finish the season at Chelsea? Where do you believe Ryan Giggs stands in the greatest British footballers of all time?

Share your thoughts below.

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