David Beckham retires: What next? A career as a fashion designer, manager ... or pop star?
As his glittering career in top-flight football comes to an end David Beckham will be turning his attention to retirement
As his glittering career in top-flight football comes to an end David Beckham will be turning his attention to retirement - and how exactly he plans to spend it.
Speaking today Beckham said: "Nothing will ever completely replace playing the game I love, however I feel like I'm starting a new adventure and I'm genuinely excited about what lies ahead".
"I'm fortunate to have been given many opportunities throughout my career and now I feel it's my time to give back."
What appears to be certain is that after conquering the world of football so comprehensively, and becoming a multi-millionaire in the process, it seems unlikely he'll be be satisfied spending his time gardening or putting his feet up in one of his many homes.
Beckham is nothing if not busy. So what next?
Having played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and PSG in a career spanning more than two decades and encompassing spells under some of the world's top managers, Beckham would seem to be the ideal candidate for a managerial position.
With spells as captain for England and Manchester United, during which he demonstrated an ability to lead - management would seem to be an option.
He is yet to take any coaching badges, however, perhaps indicating that his interests lie elsewhere.
Because of his high profile it seems almost strange to picture Beckham sat next to Gary Lineker on the Match Of The Day sofa.
But as a retired professional, and arguably the most famous former footballer in the world, he'll be in high demand as a pundit.
Near the end of last year Beckham was widely being connected with Time Warner Cable, who it was claimed were attempting to lure him to their channel to front a new sports network.
However, the 37-year-old said at the time that there was ‘no truth’ in the suggestion he would transfer to punditry when he eventually hung up his boots.
David Beckham's success as a style icon was far from assured when initial forays into the fashion world resulted in the occasional faux pas.
Braided hair, sarongs and a famous Mohawk hairstyle were all greeted with a mixture of bemusement and ridicule.
Since those early days however Beckham's status as an international style icon has been cemented. In 2002 Beckham was famously hailed as the ultimate "metrosexual" by Salon magazine.
The Beckham's were paid $13.7 million in 2007 to launch his fragrance line in the US.
Becks himself has been featured on the front covers of magazines ranging from the now defunct 'Face' to 'W'.
He is most recently associated with the H&M brand, among others, featuring provocatively posed underwear shots.
His wife Victoria is now a respected fashion designer, so maybe Becks will follow in her (rather expensive) footsteps.
Most recently it has been his son, Romeo who has stolen the limelight featuring in ads for Burberry.
Beckham is already associated with a number of charities that could keep him plenty busy.
Among the many philanthropic interests he has been involved with Beckham is a founder member of the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council, the charity for injured servicemen and women 'Help for heroes' and has his own charity the Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust.
He has also been appointed a UNICEF Ambassador and has been at the forefront of their Unite Against AIDS Campaign.
In 2007 Beckham travelled Sierra Leone to see the work of the charity in action.
He described what he saw as 'shocking' and 'tragic'.
He was entered into the NSPCC's hall of fame in 2004 after helping raise money by selling tickets to a World Cup party on eBay.
Football ambassador role
Earlier this year Beckham became a global ambassador promoting Chinese football and helping to improve the image of the country's game. He combined the role with playing for Paris St-Germain.
So, could another ambassador-type role follow for Beckham?
He famously played a key role in bringing the 2012 Olympics to London and despite being left out of the British football team for the competition he described his pride in helping bring the games to the UK.
Beckham is likely to remain in demand as a lobbyist for major sports events to be held in the UK.
An acting career?
One of Beckham's pals, Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, has reportedly encouraged Golden Balls to head for silver screen glory.
"I've been encouraging him to become an actor. He's got the looks, he's got everything. He'd be terrific. I'd love to do action movies with Beckham. He would be great, he could kick ass," Cruise said.
However, Beckham's response would indicate some work would be needed: "Tom's not offered any acting lessons yet or parts," Beckham said. "I'm not interested. I'm a terrible actor".
Even as the tributes flood in following his retirement, bookies are already offering odds on the likelihood of a knighthood.
And it's good news for Beckham with him 6/4 to be knighted this year (including 2014 New Year's Day honours).
A singing career
He may want to follow in Victoria's footsteps and begin a career in pop music. Evidence of Beckham's singing abilities (briefly on the Jonathan Ross show) is scarce.
Some more unkind observers would suggest the same is the case for his wife.
A return to football
Never say never.
Could we see Beckham re-emerge as a lower league player at some point?
As the ginger wizard Gordon Strachan proved it may be possible to play professional football into your 40s.
Manchester United legend Bryan Robson bowed out of the game just shy of his 40th birthday, so there maybe hope for a Beckham return yet...
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