David Beckham's first training session in Paris

Posted by Jonathan Johnson

Over 150 people crowded round the entrance of Paris Saint-Germain's Camp des Loges on Wednesday afternoon to catch a glimpse of their new hero. And that was just the supporters who had made the mammoth trek to the outskirts of the French capital. More journalists were waiting inside the press area for the emergence of David Beckham as he finally took part in his first training session since joining the club on transfer deadline day.

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A fortnight after the media frenzy that swirled after the news that the former England captain was heading to Paris to sign for the capital club, the party once again descended on PSG. His first steps though encouraging, were little more than routine training exercises with some of the first team's younger and fringe players as those present in Valencia were training inside.

Beckham training:

Given his continued return to full fitness, most of Beckham's training on the day was exercise-related. There was some football played at the end, but in general it was little more than a public showing to exhibit the fact that the 37-year-old has arrived. Carlo Ancelotti and Leonardo were of course present as were the majority of the Italian's coaching staff, but most of his likely team-mates were inside winding down after Tuesday's 2-1 win in Valencia.

When he did get on the ball he looked sharp. Although little movement was required, his passing remains as accurate as ever and in a small possession-based training drill he provided a couple of assists with his trademark accurate distribution. A couple of pinged cross-field balls drew some excited whispers, but otherwise the session was a fairly routine one.

His team-mates:

Although not shy, Beckham's first training encounter was hardly a love-in. It was a professional event, demonstrating that on the pitch Beckham and the club are taking the deal seriously. In fact, photos of his meeting with home grown centre-back Mamadou Sakho appear to be the most telling regarding an early blossoming relationship. The pair can be seen exercising together and sharing a joke, a good indication that he has been received well in the changing room.

Coach Ancelotti took the time to speak with Beckham at length whilst on the pitch to familiarise the Englishman with the training drills, but otherwise it was a case of meeting the new kid in class. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star stood with his hands behind his back as the team were addressed before the start of the session almost like a nervous child on their first day of school. Those inhibitions were soon gone though.

In terms of the team chemistry, it is far too early to judge just from 45 minutes of open training how Beckham will bed in just yet. The club appear happy that he has arrived and the player does not appear to have any trouble communicating with his new team-mates even if the tone of the session was overly serious.

Part of the session was also spent separate to the players as he went through some fitness drills under the close guidance of Ancelotti's staff that were not present during his short stint preparing in London. The general consensus from that is that whilst Beckham is in very good shape, he is still short of match fitness. A substitute appearance against Sochaux this Sunday does not seem out of the question, but starting is unlikely at this point. Le Classique against Joey Barton's Marseille will probably be his home bow in Ligue 1.

The assembled journalists made more of an event of the session than the players, a good indication from the club that they mean business and that the move is not for show as has been suggested. Beckham obviously just wanted to concentrate on his football for the moment and that is understandable, it was however a chance for the Englishman to become acquainted with one of his new off the field rivals, the photographers.

Beckham's arrival has to an early extent revived some of the celebrity aura surrounding the sport, so that is something that he will have to get used to. He was happy though to sign a few autographs for his adoring fans when he arrived at the complex, proving to be a popular figure with those in attendance.

The real question now is when does he play and where will he play? Given the strength of the performance shown for 88 minutes by Ancelotti's side in Valencia on Tuesday, it is going to take more than a few non-taxing training sessions to get into early good enough shape to break into that first team.

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