Owen Hargreaves accepts that he may have played his last match as a professional footballer.
The injury-prone former England international was released by Manchester City at the end of last season, and has opted to take a year’s break from football.
It was thought that Hargreaves would never play again, after he was released by Manchester United following a successful, yet injury-ravaged stint there.
And while he was given a second bite at the cherry by City, 31-year-old Hargreaves was unable to retain his place in the plans of the Premier League champions.
And now, although he says he is fit and he has not officially hung up his boots, Hargreaves admits that it might be time to think of life beyond his playing days.
“There are lots of different paths I can go down,” Hargreaves said, according to Soccernet.
“All the ex-pros have said 'you are too young to retire' but there is a big chapter after football and it might be best to focus on chapter two than hang on to chapter one.
“This year I just took a step back and decided not to play. I am fit, so I understand I may never play again. I am fine with that. You don't get all you want. One thing I won't consider is going down the leagues. I have played Champions League every year of my career so I am not doing that.”
Having contemplated his interrupted career for seasons now, Hargreaves insists that he will be at peace if his playing days do in fact come to a premature end.
“I feel blessed. I was privileged,” he said.
“Up to the age of 27 I had as good a career as anyone in Europe. Overall, I won two Champions Leagues and five or six titles. I represented England, I played with great players like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and David Beckham.
“It was an honour for me and my family. I have had loads of offers to do different things but it has got to be the right fit with the right coaches.”