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Former Arsenal forward Júlio Baptista has never considered retirement despite numerous injuries

Júlio Baptista spent a season on loan at Arsenal
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Former Arsenal forward Júlio Baptista insists he has never thought about ending his professional career despite being struck down with numerous injuries.

The Málaga goal scorer is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery on his Achilles tendon and is yet to feature for his club this season.

Baptista has seen his playing time severely limited by injuries in recent years, but is confident of returning to fitness and seeing out his contract with the Spanish club.

The former Real Madrid and Roma star has cited his mental strength as a powerful factor in his refusal to give up.

The 31-year old told Marca: "I have lived a very difficult time, but I am very strong mentally. We are in the final stretch. I have really wanted to be in the team.

"It's time to make things right, I've been out for almost a year. You have to work gradually. I must try not to sustain more injuries."

"I think it will be a month or month and a half [before I] return to the group."

The Seleção international has only managed 15 appearances for Málaga since moving to the club in 2011, due to a string of injury problems.

Baptista also revealed his dreams of playing for the Brazil at the World Cup in 2014, despite his age, but has ruled out returning to his native country to increase his chances of a call-up.

He added: "I'm not thinking about it [moving back to Brazil]. I talked to the coach [Mano Menezes] and he knows he can count on me.

"Some think I should play there [in Brazil] to get closer to the Seleção, but I do not believe it.

"Everyone thinks of the World Cup, it is a dream. It would be something important, but I'll work hard and hope to have an opportunity."


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