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Feb 20, 2013

Becks' appeal all about fashion for Ayew

Marseille forward Andre Ayew says he has always admired David Beckham, but it will be fashion tips and not footballing advice the Ghanaian will be seeking come Sunday's encounter with Paris Saint-Germain.

• Barton doesn't fear Beckham
• Blog: Menez absence questioned

Ayew, 23, will likely come up against Beckham, 37, when PSG's January signing makes his debut for his new club at the Parc des Princes in France's clasico. Many of his team-mates will no doubt have their eyes on swapping shirts with Beckham at the final whistle, but Ayew is more interested in what the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star will be wearing before and after the game than during it.

"He's a great player," Ayew, the son of OM legend Abedi Pele, said. "When I was little, I watched him on TV, I saw him do some great things and win trophies, but he's not my idol. It was never my dream to play against him. It's good to have that opportunity, but it's not something I had in the back of my mind.

"I like fashion, and it's more in that field that I admire him than for his football, even if he has scored some beautiful goals and provided some wonderful assists."

While Beckham's place in the PSG starting XI remains in doubt, Ayew is a certainty to start for the visitors, who have yet to beat Carlo Ancelotti's men in two previous encounters this season, drawing at the Stade Velodrome in the first league meeting of the season in October before losing in the Coupe de Ligue in the capital later the same month.

With six points between the pair going into the game, third-placed OM can ill afford to lose if they are to retain any hope of pipping their arch-rivals and current league leaders to the Ligue 1 title. After seeing PSG slip up at Sochaux last weekend, though, Ayew believes Elie Baup's side can go into the game with hope.

"We know PSG are favourites, that's logical, but we will have some say in the matter," said Ayew, who will stay with his team-mates on the outskirts of Paris after Sunday's game with OM facing PSG again in the Coupe de France next Wednesday. "We saw against Sochaux and against Rennes that they're beatable. They're not impossible to beat. If we play well, and get the rub of the green, anything is possible."

Meanwhile, former Paris Saint-Germain coach Antoine Kombouare has warned Jeremy Menez he will not fulfil his potential if he does not change his attitude, and advised him to learn from Beckham.

Menez, 25, was publicly criticised by current PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti, 53, after stating his displeasure at being consigned to the substitutes' bench at kick-off of last week's Champions League win in Valencia. Kombouare, 49, who preceded Ancelotti at the Parc des Princes, told RMC radio Menez has to learn what it means to play for a big club.

"He was an undisputed first-team regular under me, but he doesn't understand that he has to accept competition for places," he said. "Great players like Lucas and [Ezequiel] Lavezzi manage to do it.

"It's sad because he's a great player who can give something to the team. I want to say to him, 'Take advantage of having great players like Beckham alongside you, and learn'. Beckham is going to accept being on the bench. If he's able to get over that, he'll be a great player. But what is going to hold him back is his behaviour, which isn't good.

"I'm surprised because he's played at Roma. I thought that would help him grow up. He acts like a little sod, and I say that with a lot of affection."

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