Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has opened up on his ongoing battle with a chronic knee injury which could force him to retire.
The 36-year-old has been linked with a reunion with former Barcelona-team-mate Lionel Messi at MLS side Inter Miami.
Suarez will be a free agent in January after cutting short his stint at Brazilian side Gremio, where he scored scored 24 goals in 52 games and earned a a recall to the Uruguay squad.
But Suarez is unsure how long his career after admitting his knee injury is so painful that he must takes three pills each night.
He said as cited by Sports Central: 'I can feel pain, my body is speaking for me. I want to enjoy and then decide for myself after a long career. 'I need to rest, enjoy my family…then the destiny will know where I'll be in the future.' 'I have to think that in five years I still won't be able to play football with my friends,'
Suarez added. 'The truth is that the first steps I take in the morning are very painful. Anyone who sees me thinks it is impossible for me to play a game. My son asks me to play with him and I am not able to. 'On the outside of my knee I have tension that remained from surgery in 2020 when I was in Barcelona. In the last stage of recovery, the pandemic came and I had to do exercises on my own and I couldn't finish stretching my knee,' he told the 100% Deporte radio show. 'On the inside I have cartilage wear and that hits the bone. No liquid is generated but sometimes it gets stuck. Before games I take three pills and inject myself. From there I got the limp.'
He added: 'The truth is that the first steps in the morning are very painful. Anyone who sees me thinks that it is impossible for me to play a game.'
The ex-Red initially signed a two-year deal with Gremio in January but it was confirmed in the summer that he had agreed to shorten his contract to the end of the 2023 season.
Despite his fitness troubles, Suarez admitted that he has previously ignored Gremio manager Renato Gaucho's advice not to take part in training.
Speaking about Suarez's decision to leave Gremio, the head coach said it will be hard for the club to replace a striker of his quality.
He said: 'Unfortunately, as I said before, it was very difficult for him to stay. 'Everyone wanted it, but only he could reverse this decision. Unfortunately, he will leave and there will be this vacuum in Gremio's attack. Then it's up to the board and president to try and find another striker. It was a great pleasure, not only for me but for the whole club. A guy who always gave himself, an exemplary professional.'.