Pep Guardiola welcomed Vincent Kompany's desire to keep playing for three more years after the Manchester City captain entered his second decade with the club.
This week marked the 10th anniversary of Kompany's arrival from Hamburg for a bargain £6 million ($7.7m) and the Belgium centre-back will bring up 250 Premier League appearances if he is selected to face Wolves on Saturday.
City owe much to their club captain, who has been a fixture in the heart of their defence over the last decade, establishing himself as one of the world's best centre-backs with his no-nonsense style and excellent positional sense.
However, the 32-year-old has been hindered by persistent fitness problems over recent seasons, most commonly with his calf, but Guardiola believes the three-time Premier League winner's quality remains beyond doubt.
"Ten years here, happy anniversary. It's is a long time," the former Barcelona boss told a pre-match news conference, with Kompany into the final year of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.
"It's many games – unfortunately in the last years it could be more but no doubt about his quality.
"We spoke many times [about how] when he is fit he is an excellent central defender. Of course, he is a good personality who is loved in the locker room.
"If he wants to play three more years that's good. I say to my player retire when you feel tired or you feel it is not my time anymore.
"He wants to play. There is no doubt his physicality is strong when he is fit.
"The problem we had in the last three years from Vincent was him being ready. When he can do it he is an excellent central defender."