Javier Mascherano revealed he cannot envisage ending his professional career at Barcelona due to the physical demands of playing too many games a season.
The Argentina international has been with the Spanish giants since 2010 after a €24million move from Premier League outfit Liverpool.
Mascherano has lifted 13 trophies in his time with Barca, but said he will only continue with the club for as long as his body holds up.
“I don’t think that will happen [retiring at Barca],” the 31-year-old told Clarin.
“There will come a moment that because of my age I will not be able to keep up with the demands of Barca, especially physically.
“To play between 60 and 70 games and season is not easy.
“I would have to play at a club that is more in line with that I can achieve physically.
“But I will see how long I can give my maximum.”
The midfielder-turned-central defender began his career with River Plate, and the Argentine said returning to his home country remains a chance.
“Yes, of course. But not with contempt,” he said.
“I watch Argentinean football and I know that you have to be at a good physical level to play in it.
“There are much less games during a season than in Spain, and that is an advantage when you are older.
“In my head it is always to return. I will not allow myself to return if I’m not right, just on a whim. I will know if I can still perform.”