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Beckham wants Champions League swansong

British soccer star David Beckham sits courtside as the Los Angeles Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks during their NBA basketball game in Los
British soccer star David Beckham sits courtside as the Los Angeles Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks during their NBA basketball game in Los

(Reuters) - David Beckham has targeted one final fling in the European Champions League before hanging up his boots once he leaves Los Angeles after five-and-a-half years.

"I always loved it when I went back to AC Milan being back in the Champions League," the 37-year-old told British media as he prepared for his last game for the L.A. Galaxy.

"I still miss playing in it, they are the games you love playing in. Of course I'd want to play in it again," he added before Saturday's MLS Cup final against Houston Dynamo.

"We'll see where I go next. If it's a team that's in the Champions League then it will be nice to be back."

Former England captain Beckham admitted watching former Manchester United team mates Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs still playing in Europe's top competition gave him added incentive.

"It's nice to see them still playing at Manchester United," said the former Real Madrid midfielder.

"They have had successful careers there and to see them playing like they do is great. I'm 37 years old, the same age as Scholesy, although Giggsy is even older than me.

"Me and Scholesy grew up together and played with Giggsy and it is great to see them still playing."

Beckham has been linked with French sides Paris St. Germain and Monaco, among others, although regular first-team minutes could be hard to come by at Carlo Ancelotti's big spending side.

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"I plan to keep playing as long as I can," said Beckham, arguably the most recognizable athlete on the planet.

"I know when Scholesy stepped away he came back and regretted stopping. I want to continue to play as long as my legs will take me."

Beckham, who has an option to take an ownership share in a future MLS expansion team, denied money had ever been a factor in his transfers between clubs.

"My career has never been about money," insisted Beckham, who has a net worth of $260 million dollars, according to Forbes.

"I'm not money-motivated, I just want to play for the best team and with the best players. I know I will miss it when I finish playing.

"When I got my Achilles injury and I was out for six or seven months it gave me time to realize what it would be like. I kind of got a taste of it then and I didn't like it.

"It's going to happen at some point but ... I've got four kids so it's not like I'm not going to be busy."

Becoming an owner or part of the LA Galaxy ownership structure appeals more than becoming a manager to Beckham, who won six Premier League titles with United and one La Liga championship at Real Madrid.

"I'd like to be an owner because I don't want to be a manager," he said, also hinting at a possible future role as an ambassador for United.

"I love playing and coaching but I would rather be an owner."

(Reporting by Alastair Himmer in Tokyo; Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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