Former Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia has revealed that he considered playing on until 2011 because a peculiar quirk of history suggested he was due to score in the quarter-final of the Champions League that year.
The popular Finn, who made 464 appearances for the Reds and scored no fewer than 35 goals during a memorable stay at Anfield, recently spoke to LFCTV HD in an extensive interview about his 10-year career at the club.
Three of Hyypia's most famous strikes were registered in Champions League last-eight ties of 2002, 2005 and 2008, with a thumping left-foot volley past Juventus a personal favourite for the unassuming 41-year-old.
"It was special," he recalled. "I've watched the goal on YouTube and the reaction from the fans was tremendous. I'll remember it for the rest of my life. Before the Juventus game, I hadn't started a league game for a month - it was a bit of a statement from me."
Exactly three years separated each of those aforementioned Anfield Road end conversions in Europe and Hyypia joked that he contemplated remaining at Liverpool beyond his farewell in May 2009 to maintain the record two seasons later.
The current Brighton & Hove Albion boss explained: "I scored in 2002 against Leverkusen, 2005 against Juventus and 2008 against Arsenal.
"There were three years between each one. It's funny because I thought: 'Shall I continue playing until 2011 as I might hit the net again in the quarter-final of the Champions League that year.'
"Sometimes when you think back to those days and what has happened, those kinds of stats come up. At the time you don't think about it but when you look back at your career those things pop up and they are good memories."
Expanding the discussion to his prolific ability to find the target, as well as prevent concessions at the other end of the pitch, Hyypia insisted that more of a striker's instinct might have doubled his tally.
"I often saw space and thought I would've scored had I been in that space," he added. "If the ball was not coming straight to me, I was not going to run towards the goal.
"I was thinking too defensively. I think I would've scored double the tally if I had that in me. I'm obviously very happy with the number of goals I scored but it could've been even better."