The 38-year-old has recognised that 2011-12 could be his last in professional football, and hopes that he will be able to bid farewell to the game in the MonumentalFormer Argentina international and River Plate idol Ariel Ortega has admitted that he could retire in June, and lamented the fact that he may be denied a send-off in the Millo's Monumental home.
The 38-year-old playmaker, who appeared at Valencia, Parma and Sampdoria as well as enjoying three spells with River during a long and controversial career, is currently representing Defensores de Belgrano in the Primera B Metropolitana, Argentina's third tier.
His contract still belongs to River, but a tense relationship with club president Daniel Passarella makes it unlikely that 'El Burrito' will return to play for the club with whom he lifted the 1996 Copa Libertadores.
The veteran midfielder affirmed that he was considering hanging up his boots, and that the 2011-12 season could be the last he plays.
"It could be the case that I retire in the middle of this year," Ortega revealed to Radio La Plata.
When asked about a possible farewell match, the veteran of 84 international caps doubts that he will get the chance to end his career in the Monumental.
"I am most likely thinking of a goodbye game in the Monumental, but right now it can't happen. I do not have a good relationship with the current River president and I cannot go to make amends.
"This is something that happens because of the stature of the people involved. It has to come from him. It would be great because I would have a magical time and I would share one more joy with the River fans, who have given me so much over my career."
As well as lifting the Libertadores, Ortega won a total of six local championships with the Millo.