Manchester United striker Michael Owen has dismissed suggestions he may consider retiring at the end of the season, claiming the example set by the evergreen Ryan Giggs has inspired him to play for as long as he can.
The 31-year-old is currently side-lined with the thigh injury that forced his early substitution during Manchester United's victory over Otelul Galati, but despite it being the latest setback in a too often injury ravaged career, Owen is not thinking of hanging up his boots just yet.
"I'm 31, so I'd still like to think I've got a few years left in me when you look at players like Giggsy," Owen enthused to Sky Sports News.
"And while they are playing in their mid to late-Thirties, that is great for us all, really."
When called upon for the defending Premier League champions, Owen has more than illustrated he still possesses the striking instinct that made him of the most potent forwards in Europe.
The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle United star is out of contract in the summer and continues to play a peripheral role at Old Trafford, but Owen, who is 32 in December, suggests he is still enjoying his football.
"But I'd like to think I've got a few years left in me and I still love the game. How can't you love it when you are playing for such a top club like Manchester United?"
Owen signed for Manchester United on a free transfer in the summer of 2009 and although he has been marginalised at times, the striker boasts an excellent record when starting games, particularly in the Carling Cup where he has seven goals in six starts for the club.
Sir Alex Ferguson recently suggested Owen's form merited more starts but conceded he faced a difficult juggling act balancing the likes of Owen, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Dimitar Berbatov and of course Wayne Rooney.
"His (Owen) ratio [of goals] per game is unbelievable." Ferguson said in September.
"Unfortunately for us he's had one or two injuries and with me having Hernandez, Berbatov and Rooney and several strikers like that, he's not getting the games he deserves which is unfortunate for him, but he's a fantastic player to have around."
Meanwhile, despite Owen's envious goals-to-game ratio for United, the player remains perpetually out of the reckoning in Fabio Capello's England plans. Owen, who is England's fourth all-time leading goal scorer, has not featured for the Three Lions since 2007 and under the Italian's stewardship has looked increasingly unlikely to add to his 89 caps.