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Garde respects Beckham's on-field ability
02 Feb, 2013 1:44 AM GMT
Lyon head coach Remi Garde has rejected the idea David Beckham's stint at Paris Saint-Germain will be all about off-field effects.
Following the announcement that Beckham would join PSG, French League (LFP) president Frederic Thiriez and Lyon's counterpart Jean-Michel Aulas emphasised what the English midfielder's arrival could do for Ligue 1's TV rights.
But Garde believes Beckham will still provide plenty of quality on the pitch for PSG and praised the 37-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid player for his commitment to football.
"Well, I think a great player is joining a big club," Garde said on Friday.
"I have a lot of respect for Beckham, I followed his career in England.
"He is someone with an aura which goes beyond football.
"I know he is someone passionate about the game.
"He was a fabulous player for the England national team."
Lyon headed into the weekend level on points with Beckham's new club at the top of Ligue 1's standings but Garde is not getting carried away thinking about titles or European Champions League qualification.
The 46-year-old French head coach remains convinced it will be a hard task to remain in the top three in France, let alone triumph over PSG and third-placed Marseille, who trail the leading pair by three points.
Lyon travel to Corsica on Sunday to take on Ajaccio.
"We know it will be tough to stay in the podium until the end of the season," Garde said.
"I never lie and I truly think that nothing should be taken for granted.
"We will have to fight at every game. For the next game against Ajaccio, it will be the same to keep our ambitions alive."