O’Sullivan recently revealed his plans to retire at this week’s English Open, after declaring he would look to play three more world championships, followed by a global exhibition before bowing out.
The Englishman commented: “I’ve got a goal to keep me playing for at least another three World Championships. Once that comes it might be a good time, I’ll be 49 then, it might be a good time to focus on other things I’ve got going on and just focus on them.
“Once I do finish playing I’ll probably do a two or three year swan song going round the world.”
However one of his key rivals throughout his period of dominance over the sport, Higgins is less than convinced by ‘The Rocket’s’ claims and expects him to carry on playing well past his initial plan.
Higgins told the Metro: “I’ve been hearing that for 30 years. Is he? Aye. Listen, it could happen, but no.
“I think O’Sullivan will be playing this game until he’s in his sixties, that’s just my personal opinion on it. I could be wrong but come back to me in 13 years and I think he’ll still be playing.”
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With plenty of talk surrounding O'Sullivan's future, Higgins also discussed his own potential retirement plan which he expects to be less than his prediction for The Rocket going into his 60’s.
He added: “I don’t know about me. I’ll maybe be retired and enjoying the grandkids with the wife.
“I’ve been sweating blood and tears for this career, I’ve been putting everything into it so I don’t think I’d have that longevity. But for somebody like O’Sullivan I think he could yeah.”
The 46-year-old has enjoyed a hugely successful career on the table having won four world championships throughout, and he hopes he will continue to compete at the highest level as he goes into his 50’s.
Higgins commented: “I’m trying my best with things off the table but you get to the point of life where things can start to happen. Your eyesight can start to deteriorate, illness, who knows what’s going to happen?
“Two or three years I’ll be 50 so you don’t know what’s going to be happening in your life. I’d dearly love to still be competing and still be out there. It’s still a great buzz when you’re out on the match table playing good stuff.”