Robbie Keane admits it took him very little time to rule out international retirement with the Republic of Ireland.
Damien Duff and Shay Given quit the international scene earlier this summer after gaining 100 and 125 caps respectively.
Keane, who will move within four caps of Given's record when he captains the Republic in Kazakhstan on Friday, had also been tipped to throw in the towel having just turned 32.
The Los Angeles Galaxy striker admits the thought entered his mind, but it left very soon after.
"Of course I thought about it (retirement)," Keane said.
"When Damien and Shay retired it was a sad day for Irish football, because they have been two of the best players this country has ever seen.
"I considered it, but the thought of never putting on a green shirt again was quite difficult to come around to.
"Even now I am dreading that day. I will play as long as I can and as long as I am fit and healthy and as long as the manager picks me."
Keane's continued commitment, and that of fellow veteran Richard Dunne, was a huge boost to head coach Giovanni Trapattoni, whose leadership came under fire after the country's dismal Euro 2012 campaign where they lost all three games.
In what has been seen by some as a sign of desperation, the Italian has claimed he could tempt the duo out of retirement to help the country qualify for Brazil 2014.
Keane admits not having the influential duo around is an unusual experience, and backed calls for them to return to the fold.
"Of course it's strange not having them around," Keane added. "Those two have been around for so long. Me and Damien came in at the same time and Shay came in the year before us.
"When you are used to seeing those faces there, and knowing you will never see them in the squad again it is a bit strange.
"But hopefully he will speak to them and if they change their mind then great because they are sadly missed."
Murmurings of discontent with Trapattoni's management style resurfaced this week when it emerged that Darron Gibson had rejected a call-up as he was still smarting from being snubbed at Euro 2012, where he watched every minute of action from the bench.
But Keane, who is beginning his fifth World Cup qualifying campaign with the Republic, insists spirits are high within the squad.
"I'm raring to go and certainly from what I've seen in training this week, the younger players that have come in are too," continued Keane.
"Everyone seems to have that hunger.
"It's important that everyone forgets about the Euros.
"We have a new campaign now. We have to put what happened as far behind us as we can and start this campaign off with a win."