David Beckham will continue playing for at least another season before going into an ambassadorial role, having hinted that he would like to assist the FA in the development of grassroots football and insisted that he will be connected to the game his "whole life".
The FA is understood to be open to the former England captain being involved at some level and his experience in England, Spain, Italy, France and the US makes him uniquely qualified.
Beckham also defended English clubs despite their absence from the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 1996. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder was the only Englishman representative left in the competition this week, only for his team to be knocked out on away goals by Barcelona, but he rejected suggestions that the English game is confronted by a crisis or that it needs a radical overhaul.
"I'm proud of what the English teams have done in the last 10 years," he said. "It has been special. Just because we have not got a team in the semi-finals this year, it happens. We're still one of the best, if not the best, league in the world.
"There is a lot of good work being done in England with grassroots football [but] we need to continue to progress. You don't want to sit still or become complacent in the way we play the game. Foreign players have helped our game: I don't think [their arrival] damages the Premier League at all. But it is important we still continue to bring young English players through as well. We will continue to do that because we have got the grassroots situation set up.
"It is about continuing to progress and there are experienced coaches and players who've had experience who are finishing their careers and going into coaching and management. That's going to help again."
One example is his former team-mate and best man, Gary Neville. Beckham said he "always saw" Neville in a coaching role, noting: "When you have players with that much knowledge, it is great to have them involved in the game."
But that definition could also be applied to Beckham and he added: "I will be involved in football my whole life. My career will continue as some kind of ambassador after I finish playing. I want to help English football and football in general."
Asked if that meant working with the FA, Beckham replied: "Let's wait and see. Once I've finished playing I may be able to answer that. But I've had experience of playing in different countries. That's what I've always brought to any coaching that I've done with kids. That's the advantage of the career I've had: I've been able to experience different cultures and different ways of playing, different grassroots football. It is something that I can do when I finish playing."
But with PSG keen for him to continue next season, Beckham does not have any plans to retire, even though he will turn 38 in May. He insisted that he does not have any plans at all and will continue to play as long as he can.
"I always enjoy these [Champions League] nights," he said. "Being involved in these games is why I'm still playing at the age I am. It's an amazing experience, although it's not nice losing either. In both games, we did ourselves proud. To not lose against Barcelona is something that we can take as encouragement into next year's campaign.
"I enjoy playing and that's why I still play and push myself into challenges. I want to continue. It's harder than it was when I was 21 but I am still enjoying it like I was when I was 21. And when you get to my age, you're more aware than when you were 21, you learn to read the game a lot differently. It becomes easier in that sense. Physically, it was always going to be difficult.
"Every time I play it only increases the urge to continue. That's not going to change. When I finish, I will still be playing football with my kids and dreaming of playing in the Champions League. It's year by year. I don't have a plan right now. Right now, I'm just planning to recover from this [match]."
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