Beckham's long-term future in MLS?

What lies ahead for David Beckham in his professional career? Retirement? A return to the Premiership? reporter John F. Molinaro writes that the Englishman isn't ruling out staying in Major League Soccer beyond this season.

What lies ahead for David Beckham in his professional career?

Retirement? A return to the Premiership? Re-signing with the L.A. Galaxy? Moving to another North American club?

Those are just some of the options for the 35-year-old English star whose five-year contract with L.A. expires at the end of the 2011 Major League Soccer season.

Beckham joined L.A. in 2007, trading the prestige of Real Madrid, one of the most famous clubs in world soccer, for the bright lights of Hollywood and a league that was looking to him for help in trying to gain a larger foothold in the American sporting landscape.

Things haven't quite worked out for Beckham and MLS, though. A series of injuries and two stints playing with AC Milan during the off-season have seen the Englishman make only a modest impact in North America, both from a commercial and soccer perspective.

The Beckham Experiment, while not a complete failure, hasn't been an overwhelming success, either. But even though he isn't tipping his hand, Beckham is not ruling staying in MLS beyond this season.

"Yeah, there's a chance. I haven't made any decision about what I'm going to do after this year. I think it's important that I just concentrate on my play this year," Beckham told reporters in Toronto on Tuesday.

One of determining factors for Beckham will be his health.

"I feel fit, I feel good in games, I feel as if I am performing well, so I need to continue that and then in a few months I'll think about what I have to do and what I want to do," stated Beckham.

"I'll be 36 in May and I'm getting older, so we'll have to wait and see how my body feels at the end of the season and if I feel as though I can play more and continue, then I will continue."

Beckham is a multimillionaire who has made a lucrative living playing soccer. It's also given him a certain level of global stardom and status in the social world — he's accepted an invitation to attend the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.

He doesn't need to play soccer but he maintains that even after all these years, after all of the wealth and celebrity the sport has afforded him, the competitive fires still burn inside of him.

"I still love the game like I did when I was 21 years old. I still feel fit, I look after myself so at the moment there's no reason for me to stop, so we'll see," Beckham said.

Beckham isn't talking like someone who is on the cusp of retirement. Nor has he given up his dream of playing for England.

The former Manchester United star last represented his country in a World Cup qualifying game in 2009, and might have gone to last year's World Cup if he hadn't suffered an injury a few months prior to the tournament.

To date, Beckham has 115 caps to his credit, more than any other outfield player in the history of the English national team, and trails goalkeeper Peter Shilton by 10 for the all-time lead.

Beckham hopes that a solid MLS campaign with L.A. will earn him an England recall by coach Fabio Capello.

"Do I miss it [playing for England?] Of course," admitted Beckham, who has expressed an interest in competing at the 2012 London Olympics.

"Any time you're not in a game, if you're passionate about your [sport], you're going to miss it. I'm working hard here … I've always said that I'll be available. If the manager feels that I'm playing well enough and I can add to the team, he'll pick me."

Added Beckham; "I'm an Englishman so I'm proud to be English and I want us to succeed."