LONDON (AP) -- David Beckham has welcomed former Real Madrid teammate Luis Figo's bid to unseat Sepp Blatter, saying FIFA needs candidates "passionate about the game."
Figo is the only former player standing in May's election, which also features FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein and Dutch football association chairman Michael van Praag.
Ahead of Figo's manifesto launch on Thursday, Beckham said in a statement to The Associated Press: "I welcome the candidacy of my friend Luis for FIFA president."
The former England captain added: "Any successful organization needs to have good people who are passionate about the game and want to do the best for fans."
While not criticizing Blatter, Beckham says "FIFA will only benefit from having a wide range of strong candidates ... it's good to see people volunteer."