Franz Beckenbauer has admitted that he was interested in becoming the next president of Uefa and was looking forward to a “fair and clean election battle” with France’s candidate Michel Platini.

Beckenbauer, head of the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup, said: “The interest is there.

“I’ve taken responsibility all my life and never worried about possibly failing. The presidency of such a successful organisation as Uefa would be an appealing challenge.”

Beckenbauer’s chief rival for the post is former French legend Michel Platini, who yesterday suggested that the German had left it too late to make a bid for the presidency.

“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.”