Javi Martinez is confident Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm will not retire just yet and has backed his ability to keep playing until 2020.
Lahm suggested this month he could retire at the end of the 2016-17 season, but Martinez feels the former Germany international still has plenty to offer.
“Philipp is still looking so young and fresh,” Martinez told Bild.
“He will not retire just yet, I simply do not believe that. Philipp has to keep playing. I’d say he still has four or so years left in him.
“Age is not relevant in football. I used to play with Aritz Aduriz at Athletic Bilbao. He is 35 now and is playing like a youngster.”
Lahm has been heavily linked with the position of sporting director once he ends his playing career and Martinez believes his team-mate would suit the role.
“Everybody respects him, the players, the fans, the club bosses, even the journalists,” Martinez added.
“He is a very responsible guy, so I do not see a reason why he could not become sporting director.”