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2002 FIFA World Cup winner Lucio ready to play on into 40s

IANS  |  Rio de Janeiro 

Lucio, a member of Brazil's 2002 World Cup-winning squad, has cited force of habit for his decision to return to at the age of 39.

After more than a year away from the game, the former has begun a three-month spell with Gama in Brazil's Brasiliense league, reports

Following the retirement of Kaka late last year, Lucio is now the only member of Brazil's triumphant squad who is still playing.

"I feel great and super healthy," the former Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Inter told newspaper.

"I'm able to train and play well. It's as if I were 34 years old again. My recovery after matches takes a little longer, but I'm happy. At my age, experience helps a lot. You learn to pace yourself and orientate your teammates in relation to their positioning."

Before joining Gama last month, Lucio hadn't played since parting ways with (ISL) outfit FC Goa at the end of 2016.

He hopes to continue for at least another year but will need to find another club to do so given that Gama's season ends in April.

"The Brazilian calendar always provokes discussion," Lucio said. "While the big clubs play a lot of games, the smaller ones need to play more. The schedule needs to changed to allow small teams to play more regularly."

The semi-professional Brasiliense league, in the metropolitan area of federal capital Brasilia, represents a stark contrast to the glamour of the or Italian Serie A, but that doesn't bother the central defender.

"I've had a brilliant career, but I know that I can't live in the past," he said. "It was a difficult decision for me (to return), but playing is a habit and I want to try to keep going for another two years."

"I know that I need to play at a high level to continue -- at least matching the performances of my teammates -- and that's what I'm setting out to achieve."



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 13:46 IST