David Beckham: PSG owners did not force Carlo Ancelotti to start midfielder

Paris St-Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti has denied he was forced to play David Beckham in Tuesday's 2-2 Champions League draw with Barcelona.

Ancelotti chose to start the 37-year-old former England captain ahead of Italian Marco Verratti in midfield.

Beckham's key moments in his 106th Champions League game

Lionel Messi and David Beckham
  • 11 mins - Finds Christophe Jallet with a long ball, who in turn sets Lucas Moura free down the right
  • 12 mins - Beckham's corner is headed into the ground by Alex
  • 18 mins - Zlatan Ibrahimovic prevails in the discussion over who will take a free-kick 25 yards from goal
  • 24 mins - Tracks Lionel Messi into the box successfully
  • 38 mins - Beckham is the last PSG player to touch the ball before Messi's opening goal
  • 46 mins - Begins the second half with a pair of fine cross-field passes to Jallet and Maxwell
  • 67 mins - Mistimes a tackle on Alexis Sanchez and is shown a yellow card
  • 69 mins - Leaves the field to applause as Marco Verratti comes on

Beckham had made only one start and four substitute appearances for the French side before Wednesday's match.

"It is wrong to say that [the club's owners from] Qatar said 'Beckham to play'," explained Ancelotti.

"Everyone must understand that club presidents are very intelligent and cannot force a coach to a player. Because in this case, the coach can say to the president: 'OK, you're doing the coaching and I go home'."

"Never in my career has a president forced me to bring a player, whether [AC Milan president Silvio] Berlusconi, [Chelsea owner Roman] Abramovich or Nasser [Al-Khelaifi, president of PSG].

"It annoys me that anyone would think that. I am not a supporter or friend of Beckham, I try to be objective.

"Beckham deserved to play even if he is 37 years old."

The former Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Los Angeles Galaxy player became the first Englishman to play for four clubs in the Champions League

However, Beckham was heavily criticised for his performance in the quarter-final first-leg draw by the French media. 

Ancelotti added: "Criticism of him is abnormal and unjust, he had a very good game. He followed exactly the strategy I asked, giving the ball quickly.

"If Paris was good in the first 30 minutes against Barca it's because Beckham was good, because he sought to play fast."