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Ancelotti stands by Beckham inclusion

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has defended David Beckham’s performance against Barcelona in the Champions League.

January signing Beckham started in the 2-2 draw at home to Barca on Tuesday before being replaced by Marco Verratti after 75 minutes.

Ancelotti, who coached Beckham at AC Milan, was pleased with the former England captain’s performance and dismissed suggestions he was forced to play him by the club’s owners.

“Beckham had a very good game – he applied the strategy that I implemented,” Ancelotti said.

“I don’t understand the criticism against him, it is unfair. He could also play in the second leg. I was never asked by any owner – from (Silvio) Berlusconi, (Roman) Abramovich or Nasser (Al-Khelaifi) to put a player on the pitch.

“I’m not a fan or friend of Beckham; I am objective in my choices. It annoys me that people think like this. But I remain calm, very calm. Beckham deserves to play, even at 37.

“I have one sole objective: to help PSG win something. The league, the cup or even – our dream – the Champions League.”

The Italian coach has also lauded centre-back Thiago Silva after his sterling performance against the Barca at Parc des Princes.

“Thiago Silva is the best defender in the world,” Ancelotti said.

“The game against Barca was a normal display for him. He’s quick, intelligent and very technical. He has all the qualities to be the best.”

PSG are back in Ligue 1 action away to Rennes on Saturday.

Fri 5 April, 2013
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