Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka says goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos is the "perfect" squad member after the 2-0 win against Huddersfield on Saturday.
Konstanopoulos, 36, has established himself as first-choice this season, conceding 12 goals in 23 matches and keeping 13 clean sheets in all.
Boro have let in 17 goals in 26 games - the fewest in the Championship.
"Dimi is the kind of player I would like to have in my squad all my career," Karanka told BBC Tees.
"He's the kind of player who is always perfect. It's easy to say this now because he was brilliant.
"He is always calm, and he transmits his calm to the team."
The home victory over the Terriers kept up Boro's challenge for promotion and Konstantopoulos again made a valuable contribution with saves to deny Jacob Butterfield and Nakhi Wells.
The Greece international has been a patient figure at the Riverside, working with goalkeepers such as loanee Shay Given, Jason Steele and former Real Madrid custodian Tomas Meijas - who he is currently keeping out of the side.
"He was the fourth keeper when we arrived, everybody was speaking about the other keepers," Karanka said.
"He trained every day, always improving, always supporting the players and goalkeepers who were playing at that time.
"When Shay arrived he was second keeper, Dimi supported him, Tomas came in and Dimi supported him.
"Tomas got injured, Dimi was brilliant and after that season, I put Tomas back in and he kept going and supporting him."