Michel Platini has suggested that Franz Beckenbauer, his main rival for the UEFA presidency, has left it too late to stand for the position.

“Beckenbauer is occupied with the World Cup until 2006 and after that he can do what he likes,” Platini told magazine SportBild on Wednesday.

“But it would be a shame if he decided to run in the same year I am standing. He could have put himself forward for the post ten years ago.”

Platini, who captained France’s 1984 European Championship-winning team, is ten years younger than the 59-year-old Beckenbauer. A former coach of the French national team, Platini is already a member of the UEFA executive panel.

Beckenbauer, head of the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup, has long been tipped as a potential UEFA president and FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already stated that he will back the German for the post.