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Beckham 'excited' by possible 'Classique' debut for PSG

Story highlights

  • David Beckham named in a 20-man squad for Paris Saint-Germain's match on Sunday
  • Veteran soccer icon hoping to make his debut in match against "Classique" rivals Marseille
  • PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti refuses to confirm that midfielder will take part in match
  • Beckham's former club Manchester United extend English league lead to 15 points

On the day one of his former clubs marched closer to yet another title, David Beckham was relishing the prospect of making his debut for Paris Saint-Germain in one of French football's biggest fixtures.

The ex-Manchester United star has been named in the PSG squad for Sunday's home clash with third-placed Marseille, the only French team to ever win the European title.

"Le Classique" has come to prominence again following both clubs' return to fortunes -- league-leading PSG's due to an influx of Qatari cash, and Marseille's after a humiliating spell outside the top flight thanks to a match-fixing scandal.

"I played a lot of big games in my career, such as duels between AC Milan and Inter, Real Madrid and Barcelona, or the Galaxy and Chivas," Beckham told PSG's official website after being named in a 20-man squad.

"I think it's very exciting to discover a new very special game."

Beckham will not be the only superstar on show on Sunday -- his former Real Madrid teammate, Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo, has been invited to the match as a special guest.

    PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti was wary of confirming that Beckham will make his first appearance since agreeing a five-month deal on the final day of the January transfer window, when the 37-year-old English soccer icon promised to give his wages to a children's charity in Paris.

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    "He will be available but I don't want to reveal the team," the Italian told reporters on Saturday.

    "He has worked well and is in good state physically and mentally. He wants to play and he is in a condition to start. He is capable of playing a full match."

    PSG will be looking to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat by Sochaux, which left the club three points clear of second-placed Lyon.

    Manchester United stayed on course for a record-extending 20th English title by beating the Premier League's bottom club Queens Park Rangers 2-0 on Saturday to extend the team's lead to 15 points.

    Second-placed Manchester City will seek to cut that gap by beating third-placed Chelsea on Sunday, while Tottenham could go above the deposed European champions with victory at London rivals West Ham on Monday.

    United's top scorer Robin van Persie injured a hip in the buildup to defender Rafael's opening goal against QPR, but is expected to be fit for the Champions League last-16 clash with Real Madrid on March 5.

    "He collided with a camera, which was in a dug-out piece of ground. He hit the base of it and has a very bruised hip," United boss Alex Ferguson said of the 19-goal Dutchman.

    Ryan Giggs celebrated his 999th United appearance by scoring the second goal with 10 minutes left.

    Fifth-placed Arsenal moved to within a point of Tottenham as Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla scored both goals in a 2-1 victory over third-bottom Aston Villa to relieve the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.

    Sixth-placed Everton's Champions League hopes suffered a big blow with a 2-1 defeat at Norwich, while West Brom moved up to seventh with a 2-1 win at home to Sunderland thanks to a double from on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.

    Wigan moved out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 victory at second-bottom reading, as Ivory coast striker Arouna Kone netted twice.

    Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov scored the only goal of the early midtable game against Stoke, his eighth this season.

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