Barcelona defender Carles Puyol rules out retirement from football
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is not ready to retire, despite injuries putting his career in jeopardy last season.
Last Updated: 03/07/13 4:59pm
Puyol missed a large part of Barcelona's title-winning campaign with a knee injury that required a fourth operation.
The problem continues to hang over the 35-year-old as he prepares to return to training for pre-season, but he is determined to prove his worth.
Puyol only signed a new deal midway through last season - which runs out in June 2016 - and he believes he could yet play for Barca beyond that date, when he would be 38.
"Now is not the time. I will not retire," he said in an interview with El Mundo Deportivo.
"Right now I feel I want to fulfil my contract and, if I can, make it longer."
Puyol did reveal, however, that he could call time on his Spain career if it meant extending his spell at Nou Camp.
The defender, who has won 100 Spain caps, is set to hold talks with national team coach Vicente Del Bosque over his international future.
"I have a good relationship with Del Bosque and will not take a final decision or say anything until I talk to the coach," he said.
"My goal now is to recover from the knee injury and then next season, we'll see. I always take the best decision for Barcelona."
Speaking about his recovery from knee surgery, he added: "I am recovering slowly but progressing very well.
"This operation is not like the others: the post-operative period is more painful but the recovery is faster.
"My idea is to train on the first day of pre-season, though maybe not with the group at first."