Former Bayern Munich and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack says he could move into coaching in the near future.
The ex-Germany captain, 37, retired a year ago this month after returning to his homeland for a second spell at Bayer Leverkusen.
The four-time Bundesliga winner told French radio station RMC that he has been thinking about becoming a coach for a long time.
“I’m still thinking about it after having spoken to a lot of managers throughout my career, but it’s a very different job and life,” he said. “I’ve always reflected on the game. To pass on your ideas and have an influence on a team really interests me.
"Maybe next year I’ll become a manager. I’m thinking about starting to get my coaching badges next year.”
Ballack, who won 98 caps for his country, has not missed playing as much as he thought he would.
But having been a runner up in the Champions League with both Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea -- as well as in the World Cup and European Championship with Germany -- he says it is only natural to think about what might have been.
“I played at the highest level throughout my career and I’m happy about that,” he said. “I was able to play for and captain my country.
“There are always matches that you lost that would have allowed you to win more titles. I never won the European Championship or the World Cup and they are competitions that I really would have liked to win. But that’s the way it goes.”
As for the present, Ballack thinks that Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery deserves to be named the world player of the year.
A shortlist for FIFA’s Ballon d’Or award is set to be unveiled next week. Ribery, 30, is sure to feature after already being voted European Player of the Year ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Ballack believes the France international should be further rewarded for a season in which he won the Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal with Bayern.
“I’m happy not to have to be making the decision because in Messi, Ronaldo and Ribery, you’re talking about three great players,” he told RMC. “It’s very difficult to say which one deserves the Ballon d’Or but it’s a team sport so you should give importance to the titles that have been won.
“Ribery’s done it... he deserves it after his exceptional season. Even in a team as strong as Bayern Munich, he made the difference.
“You could see it when he was injured at the start of the season -- they weren’t the same team. He has a huge influence, like Ronaldo and Messi, but they didn’t win as much as him last season.”