Serie A veteran trio to follow Nedved's lead

May 14, 2008

MILAN, May 14 (Reuters) - Serie A old-timers Paolo Maldini, Luis Figo and Cafu have hinted they will follow Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved and reject retirement to play on for another year.

Nedved, 35, had been considering hanging up his boots but instead penned a one-year deal on Tuesday to stay and help Juve on their return to the Champions League next term.

A decision is expected shortly on whether he will come out of international retirement to play for the Czech Republic at Euro 2008, with Tomas Rosicky's injury opening up a slot on the left of midfield.

Maldini, who has spent 23 years in AC Milan's defence, had also been due to retire at the end of the season but is having a rethink after injuries limited his appearances this term.

Generally, his fitness is good for a 39-year-old and he is close to staying put despite Milan probably missing out on a Champions League spot for next season.

'I still haven't talked with Milan and there isn't a contract, therefore there is still nothing official. During the week I will see (chief executive Adriano) Galliani and sort it out,' Maldini told reporters this week.

Team mate Cafu, 37, is less certain to be offered a new one-year deal by the club.

Milan are pursuing Barcelona full back Gianluca Zambrotta and his arrival could mean the Brazil World Cup winner has to leave.

Nevertheless Cafu wants to carry on playing.

I don't know what I'll do but I don't think I'll stop playing because I'm still very motivated when I take the field,' he said last month.

Inter Milan's Portuguese midfielder Figo had hinted he would retire at the end of the campaign but a calf problem has made him miss the last month of the season.

'I want to play because I don't want to finish my career injured,' he said earlier in the week.

Figo, 35, is struggling to convince Inter boss Roberto Mancini that he can play on for another year but club owner Massimo Moratti is a big fan and wants the former World Player of the Year to stay. Talks are due soon.