Here’s a candidate for least surprising story of the day: David Beckham has no intention of hanging up his boots.
“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,” he told reporters yesterday in the wake of Paris Saint-Germain’s exit from the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday.
“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,” the former Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder added.
On the one hand, Beckham turns 38 in three weeks. Then again, he’s just played twice in the Champions League quarter-finals for France’s best team, against probably the finest club side in the world. So why stop now?
He suggested in the interview that he’d be open to some sort of ambassadorial role to help grow the game in his native England. And of course, there’s the tantalizing possibility that he could become an MLS club owner in the future. He’s not short of options, that’s for certain, but with PSG open to extending his contract, it seems that we’ll have to wait at least a year before discovering what life looks like for a retired Beckham.
Not that all the publicity’s been positive since his move to the French capital. There’s a story in today’s Independent which reveals that ten weeks after the announcement that Beckham would give all his PSG wages to a children’s charity in the city, there’s no sign that any of the money is heading imminently to good causes.