David Beckham may still love the adrenaline rush and goosebumps being on a football pitch generates, but having hid behind a dubious facade for six years he yesterday confirmed at his Paris St-Germain press conference he was celebrity first and footballer a distant second.

He said "it's always been about football" but that is simply not true. A brand so universal he was namedropped in 2009's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, David went to Hollywood at the age his former teammate Paul Scholes was helping Manchester United win their first Premier League title in four years. It used to be about the football.

How prévisible the announcement he was joining PSG would be made on deadline day. Beckham's limelight lust is unabashed and even the most hardened sceptics could not contest this was purely a brand signing.

His decision to train with Arsenal on Monday was merely exercise in publicity. Beckham will have known his next club would be PSG but opted for a photoshoot of the training variety. Many Arsenal fans lapped it up, some who will have booed him on his first game back on English soil after his 1998 World Cup red card in the Charity Shield. It is a reflection of his worldwide popularity.

When he held court it was not so much repartee as repeat. Commendably he didn't cave in to uttering modern football's signature nonsense word "project" for 10 minutes, only for it to unashamedly roll off the tongue as if it was delivered by a PR spokesman.

At 37 years of age and not match fit for a "few weeks", Beckham has little to offer a PSG side spearheaded by Zlatan Ibrahimović and boasting an array of attackers from the quicksilver Ezequiel Lavezzi to the raw Lucas Moura and the temperamental Javier Pastore. Like the final three years of his England career, it will be difficult to justify Beckham's inclusion on the bench, let alone the first XI. The five months he has signed for corroborated the PR stunt and the admission he would not be match-fit until late February makes the exercise, on a footballing basis, futile.

david beckham

Beckham holds court in Paris

But then there was the clincher; he would be donating his £3m salary to a local children's charity. Beckham's celebrity may irk football purists but he has always been one of the most likeable and courteous in his profession, and now he can add philanthropic.

The gesture warrants suspicion, however. France Football this week published an investigation into the murky dealings behind Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, which was swiftly followed by a report into the human rights of migrant labourers in the country emerging as the most popular story on the Guardian. Beckham donned an FA blazer just over two years ago when he represented England's doomed 2018 bid in Zurich but is now getting into bed with the Qataris. How very Parisien.

There is also financial fair play to consider. PSG will make God-knows-how-much through shirt sales bearing the name "Beckham 32" around the world while not paying the most recognisable sportsman on the planet. Real Madrid enjoyed a 62% spike after he signed for £25m in 2003.

For such an image-conscious man, it was unnerving to hear Beckham suggest he might work for the Qataris in the future but it was further evidence of how the Cockney kid who was once purely interested in emulating his hero Bryan Robson had become lost. He briefly reappeared when Beckham confessed he could never play for another Premier League club having spent 14 years of his life with United, but it was only fleeting.

One wag yesterday tweeted: "Left Manchester after marrying a fashion obsessed popstar.... Then tells us it was HIS idea to move to Madrid, Milan, LA and Paris!" Beckham admitted it was a "joint decision" between him and Mrs Beckham to play across the Channel, as if he needed to. From modelling D&G to promoting D&V.

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  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham poses presenting his new jersey after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses with his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (R) and PSG sports director Leonardo after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (L) gives a press conference flanked by Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (L) and PSG Brazilian sport director Leonardo on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the Ligue 1 leader until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses with his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (L) and PSG Brazilian sport director Leonardo during a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the Ligue 1 leader until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses with his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (L) and PSG Brazilian sport director Leonardo during a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the Ligue 1 leader until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham poses presenting his new jersey after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham poses presenting his new jersey after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses with his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (R) and PSG sports director Leonardo after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses with his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (R) and PSG sports director Leonardo after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses with his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (R) and PSG sports director Leonardo after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham poses presenting his new jersey after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham poses presenting his new jersey after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (R) poses presenting his new jersey as PSG sports director Leonardo looks on after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham poses presenting his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (R) and PSG sports director Leonardo after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham poses presenting his new jersey after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) arrives to pose with his new jersey flanked by PSG sports director Leonardo (L) and PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi after a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses presenting his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (L) and PSG sports director Leonardo during a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses presenting his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (L) and PSG sports director Leonardo during a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-L1-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (C) poses presenting his new jersey flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (L) and PSG sports director Leonardo during a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the French Ligue 1 football club Paris Saint Germain until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • David Backhama, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    Sports Director Leonardo, left, British soccer player David Backham, Paris Saint Germain's President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, right, walk through the PSG logo during a press conference, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • David Backham, Leonardo

    British soccer player David Beckham, poses with his new jersey in front of the PSG logo while Sports Director Leonardo looks on during a press conference, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • David Backhama, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    British soccer player David Backham, poses with his new jersey in front of the PSG logo during a press conference, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • David Backhama, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    British soccer player David Backham, poses with his new jersey in front of the PSG logo during a press conference, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • David Backhama, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    Paris Saint Germain's President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, left, British soccer player David Backham, and Sports Director Leonardo, right, pose with Backham's jersey during a press conference, in at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • David Backhama, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    Paris Saint Germain's President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, left, British soccer player David Backham, and Sports Director Leonardo, right, pose with Backham's jersey during a press conference, in at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • David Backhama, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    Sports Director Leonardo, left, British soccer player David Backham, and Paris Saint Germain's President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, right, walk through the PSG logo during a press conference, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • David Backham, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    Paris Saint Germain's President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, left, British soccer player David Backham, Sports Director Leonardo, right, pose with Backham's jersey during a press conference, in at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Benjamin Girette)

  • David Backham, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    Sports Director Leonardo, left, British soccer player David Beckham, center, and Paris Saint Germain's President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, right, pose with Backham's jersey during a press conference, in at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham gives a press conference at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • David Beckham Signs For Paris Saint-Germain

    PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31: International soccer player David Beckham attends the press conference for his PSG signing at Parc des Princes on January 31, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

  • David Backhama

    British soccer player David Backham smiles as he arrives at a press conference, in at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham (L) gives a press conference flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (C) and PSG sports director Leonardo at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham (L) gives a press conference flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (C) and PSG sports director Leonardo at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • David Beckham Signs For Paris Saint-Germain

    PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31: International soccer player David Beckham attends the press conference for his PSG signing at Parc des Princes on January 31, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham (L) gives a press conference flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • David Beckham Signs For Paris Saint-Germain

    PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31: International soccer player David Beckham attends the press conference for his PSG signing at Parc des Princes on January 31, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham (L) gives a press conference flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • David Beckham Signs For Paris Saint-Germain

    PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31: International soccer player David Beckham, Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Leonardo attend the press conference for his PSG signing at Parc des Princes on January 31, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham (L) gives a press conference flanked by PSG Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi (C) and PSG sports director Leonardo at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • David Beckham Signs For Paris Saint-Germain

    PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31: International soccer player David Beckham, Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Leonardo attend the press conference for his PSG signing at Parc des Princes on January 31, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham gives a press conference at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham gives a press conference at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham speaks during a press conference at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 31, 2013 to announce that he joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football club. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the Ligue 1 leaders until the end of June, the club said. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham speaks during a press conference at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 31, 2013 to announce that he joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football club. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the Ligue 1 leaders until the end of June, the club said. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    Former England captain David Beckham gives a press conference at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on January 31, 2013, to announce that he joined the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • David Beckham Signs For Paris Saint-Germain

    PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31: International soccer player David Beckham attends the press conference for his PSG signing at Parc des Princes on January 31, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)

  • David Backham

    British soccer player David Beckham, smiles during a press conference, in at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • David Backhama

    British soccer player David Backham, is seen during a press conference at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Benjamin Girette)

  • David Backham, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Leonardo

    British soccer player David Backham, left, speaks during a press conference whileParis Saint Germain's President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, center, and Sports Director Leonardo, right, sits next to him at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. David Beckham will join Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday, opting for a move to France after mulling over lucrative offers from around the world since leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy.(AP Photo/Benjamin Girette)

  • FBL-FRA-ENG-PSG-BECKHAM

    British football player David Beckham (L) shakes hands with PSG Brazilian sport director Leonardo as he leaves a press conference on January 31, 2013 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the Ligue 1 leader until the end of June. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • David Beckham Signs For Paris Saint-Germain

    PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 31: International soccer player David Beckham, Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Leonardo attend the press conference for his PSG signing at Parc des Princes on January 31, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)