Sergio Aguero has raised the prospect that he could yet return to play football, albeit as an amateur rather than a professional.
The Argentine was forced to retire last year, months after leaving Manchester City for Barcelona on a free transfer, due to heart issues.
But after a lengthy career that saw him celebrate great success with the Premier League champions and reach a World Cup final with La Albiceleste, the 33-year-old still has the hunger to play.
However, Aguero stressed any return would not be at the top level, hinting that his passion would see him merely play for fun.
“Yesterday [on Tuesday], it crossed my mind that I could play football again,” Aguero told TyC Sports.
“The doctors told me that I have to spend five or six months out of action, but I already want to train again.
“I want to play recreationally. They invited me to Miami to play a game and I didn’t go. I want to send a message to the doctor.”
Aguero’s retirement means he will play no part for Argentina at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, where his nation will be among the favourites after last year’s Copa America win.
Lionel Scaloni’s side will be among the top seeds with holders France, Copa America runners-up Brazil and Euro 2020 finalists England when the draw is made on Friday.
Aguero sees no reason why they will not be in the mix to lift the trophy, though admitted that the prospect of being in the same group as Germany – who beat them in the 2014 final – is a dangerous one.
“You have to watch the matches and the draw, which is key, but Argentina are always candidates to fight for the World Cup,” he added.
“In the first few games, the team are going to start gaining confidence.
“If it’s Germany, we still have to qualify and, on the other hand, then we’ll run into each other in the latter stages. The first game is the worst, the most difficult.”