Retiring is no easy decision as a footballer. Even when the legs and the head can’t quite do it as they used to, giving up the game is not a simple step.
Heurelho Gomes can testify to that. When he walked out at Wembley with Watford back in May he was almost certain it would be his last game in football.
Since March this year, he had thought the time was right to hang up his boots and had made that opinion clear on more than one occasion.
A 6-0 mauling to Manchester City in that FA Cup final presumably only hastened that desire to call time on his career and head for pastures new.
Instead, the opposite happened. By the end of June, he had reversed the decision entirely, signing a new one-year deal at Vicarage Road to take him into his sixth season with the club.
And speaking about the turnaround, he says it was Watford’s insistence he stay that convinced him to sign on for another year.
“Last year I was sure that I was going to stop,” he told Voetbal Primeur.
“Not because I was not fit anymore, but because I was mentally tired. We reached the cup final against Manchester City, but we lost it.
“I had the hunger to play again. If I had to go to another club, I would have stopped. Watford said: no, we want you to stay longer.”