Ancelotti defends Beckham's Barcelona performance

The Italian boss believes that the English midfielder's performance against the Blaugrana justified his inclusion, and says that Thiago Silva is the best defender in the world

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has defended David Beckham's performance against Barcelona in midweek and slammed criticism of the midfielder from the French press.

The January signing started in the 2-2 draw with the Blaugrana on Tuesday before being replaced by Marco Verratti after 75 minutes.

The former AC Milan coach was pleased with what he saw, and dismissed suggestions that he was told to play the ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid star.

"Beckham had a very good game - he applied the strategy that I implemented," the 53-year-old told reporters at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

"I don’t understand the criticism against him, it is unfair. He could also play in the second leg. I was never asked by any owner - from [Silvio] Berlusconi, [Roman] Abramovich or Nasser [Al-Khelaifi] to put a player on the pitch.

"I'm not a fan or friend of Beckham; I am objective in my choices. It annoys me that people think like this. But I remain calm, very calm. Beckham deserves to play, even at 37.

"I have one sole objective: to help PSG win something. The league, the cup or even - our dream - the Champions League."

The Italian coach has also lauded centre-back Thiago Silva after his sterling performance against the Catalunya club at Parc des Princes.

"Thiago Silva is the best defender in the world," Ancelotti added. "The game against Barca was a normal display for him. He’s quick, intelligent and very technical. He has all the qualities to be the best."

The 2012 summer signing has also impressed former France coach Laurent Blanc, who echoed the PSG boss' sentiments.

"I confirm everything that is said or written about Thiago Silva, whatever people think of him: he is the best in the world," the France coach told Le Parisien.

"He is very strong at defending, both on the ground and in the air. He is a complete player and has no faults. He is a modern defender because he is as strong defensively as many others, but has something more than the rest. When he has the ball, he knows what to do."