Estudiantes legend Juan Sebastian Veron has spoken of the pain it causes him to end a glittering career as he prepares to call time on professional football at 37 years old.
The midfielder had originally declared his intention to leave football at the end of October, with his playing time ever-more limited by ankle problems. He performed a u-turn, however, and now plans to appear for the final time in the last match of the Apertura against Union.
Speaking in a press conference on Friday morning, the veteran admitted that it will not be easy to leave the game he has been involved in for over 20 years.
"It makes me pretty sad to be retiring," the former Lazio, Manchester United and Chelsea man confessed to reporters ahead of Estudiantes' meeting with Rafaela on Sunday.
"Football is my life, it is the only thing I have ever done. Well, I did work in a tyre factory for a year!"
Veron went on to state that, despite his problems with injury, he will try not to let his physical problems mar the final days of his career.
"The ankle itself is fine. My movement is a little limited, but it's ok. The problem is I finish games in great pain, not so much in training but after games. And it is hard to bounce back, at this age it is too much," he explained.
"If I was youngster I could persevere. But now at 37 it seems a good age to say enough is enough."
As well as his club exploits, Veron represented Argentina 70 times, appearing in three World Cup finals tournaments.