I will retire at 40, says Puyol

The Barcelona veteran claims he will hang up his boots when his current contract at Camp Nou expires despite ongoing problems following knee surgery
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has revealed he plans to retire from football at the age of 40, when his current contract at Camp Nou expires.

The 35-year-old, who has played in the Barcelona first-team since making his debut in 1999, says he has no plans to call it a day in the near future despite struggling with problems following knee surgery.

"I have 4 years to run on my contract and my plan is to complete them and retire when I am 40," Puyol told reporters on Friday.

"My idea is to continue working on my fitness. The important thing is to be ready for when the league starts again.

"The players who are in form are the ones who have to play and I have been having ongoing problems with my knee.

"My knee operation, which lasted two and a half hours, revealed more problems than we expected.

"My knee was full of liquid and blood, and after four weeks I still couldn't even walk properly."

The Spaniard also gave his thoughts on rumours linking him with a move to AC Milan at the end of the season, insisting there is no truth whatsoever in the speculation.

"The idea of joining AC Milan has never entered my mind. When my playing days are over, I'll study other options," he continued.

Finally, the Blaugrana captain spoke about team-mate Eric Abidal, whose illness-hit career at Barcelona will draw to a close against Malaga on Saturday.

"He was an example to all of us, a good friend and I thank him for everything he showed us," Puyol added.