Robbie Savage says he is happy to retire playing for a Championship club rather than dropping down the leagues to prolong his career.
The Derby midfielder plans to hang up his boots after the Rams' final game of the season on Saturday following a lengthy career which included 11 years in the Premier League.
And the 36-year-old, who arrived at Pride Park from Blackburn in 2008 before their relegation from the top-flight, says he has no interest in plying his trade in a lower division.
"I'd rather blow up than fizzle out," Savage told The Guardian. "I don't want to fade away and go down the leagues.
"I could play for a team in League One or League Two, somebody around the North West area [where he lives].
"But the type of person I am, if I played poorly or if I get frustrated, my life would be even worse than it is now.
"When you have played with Benni McCarthy, Roque Santa Cruz, Giggsy [Ryan Giggs], Gary Speed, Tugay and [Christophe] Dugarry, the further you go down the harder it is.
"And last Saturday, standing in the shower [after the 2-0 defeat by Bristol City], I was thinking unless I went to a top Championship team, which is not going to happen, it's the right time to go."
Savage is expected to run out for the last time when the Rams travel to Reading on Saturday, marking his 631st game.
The Welshman, a former Crewe Alexandra, Leicester and Birmingham player, says he is not worried about his impending retirement.
He added: "I'm not feeling as bad as I thought I would.
"That's a weird thing to say, because in my book I said I was going to be dreading it. But I am actually looking forward to it."