Gareth Barry: 'Roberto Martinez told me I could play until 40'

Barry: 'I was told I could play until 40'
© Offside
West Bromwich Albion midfielder Gareth Barry recalls a chat with Roberto Martinez in which the former Everton boss told the midfielder that he could play until he is 40.

West Bromwich Albion midfielder Gareth Barry has suggested that he could still be playing professional football beyond his 40th birthday.

The 36-year-old will break Ryan Giggs's record of 632 Premier League appearances should he feature for the Baggies against Arsenal on Monday night.

Barry, who has enjoyed a fruitful 19-year career in the English top flight, recalled a conversation he had with former Everton boss Roberto Martinez about his longevity in the game.

The Englishman told Sky Sports News: "It's definitely a possibility. I was 32 when I signed for Everton and Roberto Martinez said, 'Your style of game - you can play until you're 40'.

"I'm sitting there laughing at him, but he was deadly serious, and I still laughed. It's still going to be tough, but for a manager to tell me that four to five years ago is a good compliment, which was nice to hear.

"I'm immensely proud to get there. Whether it will stay around for long I don't know."

Barry, who joined Albion from Everton in the summer, has a year's option on his initial 12-month deal.

England's Gareth Barry celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the friendly football match between England and Sweden at the Wembley Stadium in London, on November 15, 2011
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