John Carew revealed on Soccer Am how he fell out of love with the football and yet still offered to play for Aston Villa for free such was his passion for the club.
The former Norway forward, 34, announced retirement from football in October 2013 after 15 years in the game, which included spells with Rosenborg, Valencia and Villa.
Carew, who has now moved into acting, admitted to Helen and Max that by the end of his career he lost his passion for the game he once loved and spending long times away from his family had convinced him that it was time to retire.
"I had been playing football for many years - 15 years - and I could not find the inner inspiration and motivation which is what you need when you want to play at the top level," he told Soccer Am.
"I didn't feel the reasons to continue anymore. I took a little break first to see and I didn't miss it so now I am doing something else.
"When you watch goals from your career and also when I watch games now - big games - and I see the celebrations and the good moments in football, you miss them. It is just the daily life.
"The bad moments - being in one place and not being able to see your family when you want to see them because they live in another country. I missed my family and being my own boss. Of course when you have done something for a very long time eventually the passion will disappear.
"At the beginning of my career of course I loved everything about it and I watched football every day and loved to get to the training ground.
"I loved playing for Aston Villa - which is my team - but I never watched football and that [passion] disappeared."
Playing for free
However, Carew, who won La Liga and reached the Champions League final with Valencia prior to joining Villa in 2007, insisted that his passion for the English club never wavered.
Carew made more than 100 appearances, scoring 37 goals, for Villa before leaving in 2011 and he revealed to Helen and Max that at one stage he offered to play for them for free such was his love for the club.
"They were struggling for a while and I said that if I could help them, go up there and make an effort, help the kids or whatever, come on for 10 or 15 minutes - I am still big and strong and can do a job - but that is a while ago now.
"I would have gone there for three or four months and played for free, definitely to help the team."