Pires: I could play until I'm 40

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Robert Pires has not ruled out playing until he is 40 after returning to the Premier League with Aston Villa after a four-year absence.

The former Arsenal player has signed an initial six-month contract with the midlands side at the age of 37. Pires will go straight into contention for Sunday's game at Blackburn after training with the Gunners for the past two months.

"I like football," he said. "It's my passion. If I have the mentality I will go to six months or why not more?"

He added: "Can I play until 40? I think so, yes.

"Every day, every morning, it is difficult. If you are younger, it is easy. But, if you have the mentality, it is not a problem."

Pires will be one of the senior figures in contrast to the likes of Barry Bannan, Marc Albrighton and Ciaran Clark who have just broken into the first team under Gerard Houllier.

But he is excited by the pool of young talent at Villa and can see similarities between Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and Bannan.

Pires said: "I know in Arsenal they have good reserves but they have very, very good young players here for the future of Aston Villa.

"Bannan and Wilshere are similar. They have good quality and good vision. For Arsenal and Aston Villa this is good news."

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Marc Albrighton
Blackburn Rovers
Hartlepool United
Premier League
Robert Pires
Robert Pires
Aston Villa
Ciaran Clark
Jack Wilshere
Barry Bannan

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