David Beckham may return to the Major League Soccer (MLS), this time an owner, as the former England captain looks to buy a new franchise.
Beckham, who joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, recently announced his plan to retire from his latest club, Paris St. Germain, at the end of this year's season. But it appears he's not finished with the sport.
In 2009, Beckham said he would like to own an MLS team. "I have the right to own a franchise, which I will action immediately after I stop playing," Beckham said, referring to an option in his contract to purchase an expansion franchise.
"At some point in time he will exercise that option and we can go through the process of making sure it is the perfect fit for David and Major League Soccer, but we are not there yet," said Dan Courtemanche, MLS executive vice-president of communications.
It's been suggested that Beckham could look to Miami to build his new team, and while others have suggested big-market New York City, his contract explicitly rules out the Big Apple, according to the BBC.
But no matter where Beckham hangs his hat, ESPN analyst and former Los Angeles Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas says it will be a welcome addition to the sport.
"Ownership is about perception, and I think you can't have somebody that will generate more interest and eyeballs than David Beckham," Lalas said. "But he is also smart enough to know what he doesn't know and smart enough to surround himself with good people."
"Having him as an owner can only be a positive for the individual team that he's a part of. But also for the league in general and, ultimately, soccer," Lalas added.