Gianluigi Buffon admitted he fears retirement as the veteran Juventus captain looks set to make an announcement about his future.
Juve and Italy great Buffon is expected to reveal his future plans on Thursday amid speculation the 40-year-old goalkeeper and 176-cap international will retire.
Buffon previously said he would walk away from football at the end of the season, unless Juve won the Champions League and he had a FIFA Club World Cup campaign to look forward to.
Juve were dramatically knocked out of the Champions League by holders Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, though Buffon celebrated Serie A and Coppa Italia glory last week – his seventh successive Scudetto and fourth consecutive Italian cup triumph.
Discussing the prospect of life after football, Buffon told Barcelona defender Gerard Pique in an interview with The Players' Tribune: "I think that at my age you have to evaluate the situation a month, a week, at a time.
"Because it is important for athletes like you and me, who have always played at the top, to be doing our best, struggling to be the best, to stay at the top. You have to be physically well, because you don't want poor results for the sake of your pride.
"I'm Buffon, and that is who I want to be till the last minute. And when I'm not myself anymore, I'll go. In a couple of months, I'll meet with the president and we'll evaluate the situation calmly.
"I'm very happy at the moment. I'm happy playing, because I love the atmosphere — I'm with my friends and I know I can help on the pitch. The day I can't, no problem. I've had a great career anyway.
"I would be dishonest if I told you I'm not afraid. But deep down I feel calm and at peace because I know I'm naturally curious. And the day I stop playing football, I will find a way not to get bored and I'll stay busy.
"After all, players like us, who have lived the game intensely, have to keep their minds occupied and have a reason to get up, something to fight for. I'll never get bored or miss being in the public eye.
"The only problem is that my life has been organised for me for 23 years. Every morning you are given a timetable. But when you have 24 hours ahead of you with nothing to do, that could be a problem."
Buffon has spent his illustrious career in Italy, having swapped boyhood club Parma for Juventus in 2001.
Asked if he had ever thought about playing abroad, Buffon said: "I would have liked to because I like being around different people, other ways of life, of thinking. It sounded appealing. But deep down I feel very Italian. I know Italy has its limitations, but the world I know makes me smile and I like it.
"As a figure in sports, I didn't and still don't want to leave Italy as long as I don't have to."
|Warriors score NBA record 51 points in first quarter against Nuggets|
|Panthers owner Tepper doesn´t rule out Newton missing 2019 because of shoulder injury|
|De Ligt will be world´s best centre-back – Koeman|
|Ronaldo a ´perfect machine´, says Gattuso|
|Barcelona? I can´t say anything - Stuani|
|Silva upbeat about Man City title chances|
|Celtics youngsters say Irving´s callout ´came from a good place´|
|NFL playoffs: Patrick Mahomes v Tom Brady|
|NFL playoffs: Jared Goff v Drew Brees|
|Sixers sign Brewer to 10-day contract|
|Lozano and Morgan scoop CONCACAF awards|
|Lakers ´optimistic´ about LeBron injury|
|Giants produce mammoth fourth quarter against Nymburk|
|Austin FC to join MLS in 2021|
|Henry, Vieira look forward to reunion when Monaco host Nice|
|Barcelona reject Neymar phone call reports|
|Wentz is the quarterback ´going forward´, says Eagles coach Pederson|
|Gattuso: Higuain has not asked to leave|
|Drew Brees by the Opta numbers: 10 facts for QB´s milestone birthday|
|Harry Kane injury: England captain´s history of ankle woe|
|Harry Kane injury: Opta numbers suggest Spurs struggles|
|Harry Kane injury: Tottenham´s options in striker´s absence|
|Allegri: Supercoppa clash practice for Champions League knockouts|
|First in clean sheets, second to Schmeichel in titles – Cech´s Premier League career in Opta numbers|
|Warrington sign England star Widdop|
|Gatland confident Wales can win Six Nations|
|Fulham sign Netherlands international Babel|
|Harry Kane injury: Games the Tottenham striker will miss|
|Simeone focused on matches, not transfer dealings|
|Iran v Iraq: Pressure off for Queiroz & Katanec|
|Vietnam v Yemen: Kocian keeps the faith|
|Darren Bravo back in West Indies Test side for first time since 2016|
|Kane out until March with ankle injury|
|South Korea v China: Son arrives for Group C dead rubber|
|Kyrgyzstan v Philippines: Eriksson remains hopeful|
|McGrath to miss Six Nations, Sexton nearing fitness|
|Kohli savours Dhoni ´classic´|
|Ford: People obsess over Farrell fly-half battle|
|EFL asks Leeds to explain ´spygate´ scandal|
|No alarms for Djokovic and Zverev, Raonic masters Kyrgios|
|Australia 3 Syria 2: Rogic breaks hearts with stoppage-time winner|
|Palestine 0 Jordan 0: Socceroos winner keeps hopes alive for Lions of Canaan|
|Halep: The results don´t matter any more|
|Hard work for Halep as Serena and Osaka sail through|
|Napoli director to take legal action over ´false´ quotes about Rog move|
|Alexander-Arnold facing absence of up to four weeks|
|Solari: We only have one number nine at Real Madrid|
|Halfpenny & Young named in Wales´ Six Nations squad|
|Crawford v Khan confirmed for April 20|
|Centurion Kohli inspires India to level ODI series|
|Wagner hails Huddersfield togetherness after exit|
|Hughes to join Bristol, Le Roux also leaving Wasps|
|ICC appoints Sawhney as new CEO|
|Forest appoint club legend O´Neill as new manager|
|Halep digs deep to gain revenge over Kanepi|
|Cech to retire at the end of the season|
|Brisbane Roar 0 Melbourne Victory 5: Barbarouses treble sinks Roar|
|´Struggling´ Azarenka breaks down in tears following Australian Open exit|
|Dominant Djokovic coasts through in Melbourne|
|Allardyce admits Huddersfield appointment is ´highly unlikley´|
|Choupo-Mouting: Manchester United have changed|
|Faletau set to miss Six Nations with another broken arm|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings into Chelsea chants|
|Serena´s the greatest ever - Bouchard relishing second-round clash|
|Mbappe can become the new Pele - Pele|
|Wade needs to learn quickly if he´s to make NFL switch a success, says Sanu|
|Azarenka beaten in first Australian Open match since 2016|
|Kings use balanced scoring attack to top Trail Blazers|
|Hewitt laughs off Tomic criticism|
|We love Ederson the way he is - Guardiola on Man City´s sweeper keeper|