Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher's determination not to allow his career to "fizzle out" is what continues to drive him on at the age of 33.
The centre-back, who went second in the club's all-time appearance list with his 666th match for the Reds in Monday's 5-2 win at Fulham, has been written off a few times but has always bounced back stronger.
Critics questioned the wisdom of giving him a new two-year contract last October but he has more than justified that in the second half of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury which required surgery.
Carragher is now determined to carry on playing as long as possible.
"People always ask me and other players about the future but it's up to the manager, isn't it? The manager decides whether you get picked or not," he told LFC Weekly.
"If it got to a stage where I was hardly ever playing and I still felt I could do something, I'm not sure what I'd do.
"But I'd hate to leave here. I'd hate for my career to just fizzle out because I love playing football so much.
"I think I'm well worth my place at the moment and if I keep the levels that I've been reaching, I don't see why that should change.
"I think age is in people's heads really. If an older player has a bad game, sometimes he may look for an excuse. I don't feel that much different [to a few years ago]."
The former England international has put his body on the line on numerous occasions for the club he has been with since he was at primary school.
He recovered from his dislocated shoulder ahead of schedule and admits he often plays when not fully fit.
"You're desperate to play, you don't want to let the team down, you fear losing your place," he added.
"I think I'd have to be 100% injured to miss a game."Reuse content