Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes that club captain Steven Gerrard could continue playing well into his late 30s if he remains fit.
The England international midfielder, 31 at the moment, signed an extension to his existing deal on Thursday but has already said that he is looking to go beyond his current contract.
Gerrard's last year has been dogged by a groin problem which required surgery and then an ankle infection, and Dalglish admits that fitness will play a big part in his longevity.
"You have to wait and see how they get through injuries," said the Scot.
"(Manchester United winger Ryan) Giggs is 38, isn't he? That's seven years down the line - that's a long time to predict - but if he's fit there's no reason why not.
"I've not got a crystal ball. I'm just delighted he's done what he's done and we have got him here."
Dalglish is considered Liverpool's greatest player but the Reds boss believes that Gerrard must now come into the reckoning.
"I wouldn't disagree he has certainly made a huge contribution to the club but he wouldn't be far away from being mentioned as the best player," he enthused.
"It is not just what he does in and around the first team it is what he stands for at the football club as well - which is more important.
"His standing within the community is fantastic and the way he does other work happily is a great testimony to himself as well."