Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has said he will not be hanging up his gloves any time soon, and will continue to play as long as his body permits.
Neuer, who turned 33 in March, had a metal plate inserted into his right foot whilst still at boyhood club Schalke over a decade ago, and missed the entire 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign after suffering a recurrent metatarsal fracture.
He returned in time for Germany's 2018 FIFA World Cup defence, and made 38 appearances in all competitions in 2018/19 as Bayern won a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double, sitting out three games midway through the campaign with a finger problem and seven at the business end with a torn calf muscle.
Watch: Five of Manuel Neuer's best saves!
"Injuries are always difficult," Neuer admitted ahead of Germany's UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier in Belarus, having returned to first-team action in time to take his place between the posts for Bayern's 3-0 win over Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig in the DFB Cup final on 25 May.
"I think I managed to get through this reason relatively well. I managed to play in the DFB Cup final and am fully participating in training. Right now I'm feeling very good. I love my job and being on the pitch. I want to keep playing as long as my body allows me to. It's a lot of fun."
Neuer was named in Germany's final 23-man squad for last year's World Cup and the upcoming June qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia, despite not being fully fit at the time. The Bayern and Germany captain proved his fitness and enduring class with a string of sensational saves against Leipzig, however, once again vindicating Die Mannschaft coach Joachim Löw's decision to keep faith with the four-time International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) World's Best Goalkeeper.
"Support from the head coach is important for every player and you play better football and develop better as a result of this trust," Neuer explained. "At the end of the day, the head coach always makes the final decision, but I always want to be on the pitch playing. We'll see what happens over the course of the next twelve months. We all want to show the head coach that he can rely on the players that he has called up to represent his country."
Neuer has won 86 international caps for Germany since making his debut under Löw in a 7-2 friendly win over the United Arab Emirates on 2 June 2009, conceding 68 goals and keeping 28 clean sheets. He has played at three World Cups and is on track to make it a hat-trick of tournament appearances at the Euros, with Germany looking to end the summer on top of 2020 qualifying Group C after beating the Netherlands 3-2 in their opening fixture in March.
"Our aim is to look ahead to Euro 2020 and to get to know each other as a team," said the seven-time Bundesliga winner. "We made the first good step towards European qualification in the Netherlands, and now want to take all six points on offer in our two upcoming matches. It won't be easy, but we have to bring the power on the pitch. We're all highly motivated to get the job done."