Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner believes he is still a way off the end of his career at both club and international level despite having turned 34 in January.
The right-back joined Arsenal on a free transfer this summer after his contract with Juventus expired and the Swiss international has boldly claimed that he still has the physique of a 28-year-old.
Lichtsteiner became Unai Emery’s first signing as Arsenal boss in June and is relishing the challenge of competing with Hector Bellerin for the first-choice right-back spot at The Emirates this season.
When asked about his international future, Lichtsteiner told Swiss media: “If I have to admit that I cannot keep the level of the last few years, then it is time.
“But then I will not only retire from the Swiss national team, but finish my career. Based purely on performance data I have the physicality of a 28-year-old.”
“I could have changed to five other clubs in the summer, knowing that I would certainly play 47 out of 50 serious matches.
“It doesn’t irritate me, as in 2011, when I moved to Juventus, I wanted to join a big club. I was looking for a demanding challenge in a new league.
“That’s why I knew from the very beginning at Arsenal that I had to fight for the regular spot against Hector Bellerin.”
33 going on 23
Of course, Lichtsteiner is not the first player to claim that his biological age is much lower than his actual age.
Before last seasons Champions League final, 33-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo brushed off any suggestions that he was approaching the end of his playing days and was quoted as saying that his biological age was 23.
“Right now, I’ve got a biological age of 23,” he told reporters in May.
“I’ve still got a long time left, I can keep playing until I’m 41. I’m feeling good, happy, I can’t complain.”