Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink has told John Terry to continue playing, even if the captain must leave the club.
The 35-year-old's future at Stamford Bridge remains unclear with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
Hiddink said Terry should extend his playing career if he still enjoyed being part of the action.
"First of all if you love the game, and he loves the game, play as long as possible," the Dutchman said.
"Being a manager is OK but it's more or less a substitute for being a player.
"Being a player is the most beautiful thing you can experience if you love the game.
"So play as long as possible, until they come and say, 'Grandfather, please leave the pitch now.'"
Should Terry decide to retire, Hiddink said the defender was capable of going into management.
But the former Netherlands coach warned the ex-England international he should do an apprenticeship as an assistant.
"Can he become Chelsea manager? Not in one or two years, but of course," Hiddink said.
"Most of the time it's good to go and be an assistant first, getting the experience from the other side.
"Some players think they can do it overnight. I doubt they can."