David Beckham expresses his sorrow for victims of Paris atrocities

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Football News

David Beckham expressed his condolences to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks after his charity match at Old Trafford was played out amid heightened security.

Three World Cup-winning Frenchmen in Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira and Christian Karembeu pulled out of the 'Match for Children' in aid of Unicef on Saturday after at least 127 people were killed on Friday.

Beckham, the former Manchester United star and ex-England captain, finished his glittering career in the French capital at Paris St Germain and spoke of his sympathy for those caught up in the atrocities.

Beckham, 40, said: "It is terribly devastating to see the scenes we all saw but unfortunately we have seen those around the world recently.

"On behalf of myself, the managers and the players, and everyone involved, the fans, we send our condolences to those who have lost loved ones in Paris. Our heart goes out to everyone in France.

"I understood why Zizou took the decision not to play. He was very respectful to me and everything, as he had promised he would come over and play, but I totally understand. I think, being French, that hit him very hard what happened last night. Patrick Vieira as well. I totally understand where they were coming from."

England's friendly against France at Wembley next Tuesday is set to go ahead as planned.

Asked about that, Beckham said: "That is not my decision. I don't get involved in politics - I don't know enough about it. If the game goes ahead it shows some power that the game has, but obviously we have to show huge respect to people who have lost loved ones.

"I think security was very tight at this game and I think it was organised impeccably, and I am sure for a while now security will be heightened at every major sporting competition or game that goes on."

As for the game itself, Beckham's Great Britain and Ireland side ran out 3-1 winners over the Rest of the World. All the goals came from former United players with Beckham setting up the first for Paul Scholes with a trademark cross. Michael Owen added two more while Dwight Yorke replied for the international team.

Beckham said: "It doesn't get any better than that - a full house for a great cause. Today was always going to be a special day. We achieved what we wanted to achieve, raised a lot of money and shone a lot of light on many great causes for children around the world."

Beckham's son Brooklyn made a surprise appearance as a substitute in the second half and briefly played alongside his father.

Beckham senior said: "He did all right. One of my lasting memories of playing here was winning the Premier League and walking around with Brooklyn and he was 18 months old. To have him there was a big decision and I was very proud. He is 16 now and a bit difficult to get on my shoulders!"

Beckham revealed the match, which attracted a sell-out 75,381 crowd and was the last of a series of seven games played in seven continents, would have raised a "significant, seven-figure" sum.


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