Brighton & Hove Albion captain Bruno revealed that he’s savouring every moment of the club’s second season in the Premier League, as he weighs up the chances of it being his last.
The 38-year-old is the oldest outfield player in the Premier League, and has featured in 33 of Albion’s 61 top-flight matches since the Seagulls won promotion in 2017.
The Spaniard, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, could return to the starting line-up for this afternoon’s Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie against West Bromwich Albion, and he spoke openly about his future.
He said, “I’d be lying if I said I’m not thinking about my future, but it’s not a big deal right now. I’m just trying to enjoy it, because I know it could be my last season.
“I will take the decision in a couple of months, but right now I’m trying to enjoy everything. I was at Old Trafford last week and it could have been my last visit.
“The older you get, you know that you’re closer to the end, but I feel mentally strong, so we’ll see at the end of the season.
“I’m feeling really good right now and I’m training at the same level as all of the boys. I think I’ve had good performances in all of the games that I’ve played.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of former players and it’s a difficult transition. But you need to be grateful for everything you’ve done and be positive for the future.
“I love the club and the city, my family love the place as well. When I retire, one of the options is to stay here, and I would love that.”
Albion beat AFC Bournemouth 3-1 in the previous round to set up today’s match against the Baggies, and Bruno is keen to mount another challenge after reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup last season.
“I can’t think of anything better [ending career with an FA Cup final]. When you’re young, you’re dreaming to play in the best leagues, and when you get older, you keep dreaming of big things.
“It’s going to be a really good game and, as always, we’ll have our fans behind us. We want to go through in this cup but it’s going to be a tough match.
“It would give the city another boost, just like it did when we got promoted to the Premier League.
“I just love seeing all the kids with Brighton shirts. When I first came over, it was Arsenal, Man U, Chelsea, but now you see lots of Brighton shirts. Maybe it would help put even more children in our shirt.”
The Seagulls will turn their attention to Tuesday’s Premier League visit to Fulham after today’s match, and Bruno stressed the importance of remaining focused for the remainder of the campaign.
“Of course we’re in a really good position in the league, but you can’t relax. The teams down the bottom are going to press and try to get out of there.
“We know how difficult it is to get points towards the end of the season. Every club knows what they’re fighting for.
“At the start of the season, all of the clubs don’t know where they’re going to be — sometimes it's easier to get points, but towards the end it gets tougher. We can’t think we’re safe.”
Tickets for today's game are priced at just £20 for adults, and from £10 for concessions, which include travel.