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Agger Says Relax: No Imminent Retirement Plans

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Reports of the defender's demise have been greatly exaggerated says the man himself, but that shouldn't stop anyone from panicking anyway.

Michael Regan

In a world comprised of people who fancy themselves to be multi-lingual due to the existence of Google translate, it's unsurprising that poorly deciphered news snippets take on a life of their own once picked up by other media. Liverpool are no strangers to players giving interviews in their native languages only to have those interviews mutate as they filter back through the English press, and this time Daniel Agger was the unwitting victim.

Danish newspaper BT, in an interview that does not seem to actually now exist on the internet, reported that Agger had flirted with the idea of ending his career early due to persistent injury problems.

"I do not have a long time left," Agger allegedly said. "I have considered ending my career some times. I have had some serious injuries, and at times I have considered retiring. But right now I am fine."

Agger himself was quick to refute the characterization of the quotes, first in Danish on Sunday before the English press picked up the story and then again yesterday, saying that his words were misrepresented.

While the exclamation marks and emoticons are certainly reassuring, perhaps more so is the fact that this is not the first time Agger has broached the subject of retirement in the context of injury woes. Agger underwent surgery in August 2009 to deal with a recurring back problem, and it's this injury (amongst others) that he seems to be referring to both in the most recent interview and in previous ones.

"My back was hurting so badly that I considered stopping playing," Agger revealed in an interview nearly three-and-a-half years ago. "I asked myself if it was worth continuing playing. When you can't even lift your own child out of bed, then something is terribly wrong."

Prioritizing fatherhood over one's playing career is hardly a terrible thing to consider if you believe you're in a position where you must choose one over the other. With all of the uncertainty surrounding Liverpool's defensive personnel this season and next, it's easy to see why those with an enthusiasm for drama and Danish-English dictionaries might jump all over anything linking the club's only guarantee at centre-back with a move away from the club.

Agger has no plans to follow Jamie Carragher into retirement at the end of the season, and with his well documented improved streak of fitness this year, there's absolutely no reason to believe that Agger's fleeting dalliance with retirement has any real merit four years later. Acknowledging that it's something he's considered in the past doesn't make it any more likely to happen in the present.