Fabien Barthez says he retired from football after Toulouse failed to offer him a contract after he moved to the area at the start of this season.
"I never took that decision. It just happened to me: 'no club, okay, let's move on to something else'," the 35-year-old Barthez told French sports daily L'Equipe on Friday.
"I know I'm still able to play two years at the highest level," added the keeper, who announced his retirement on Thursday.
Barthez left Olympique Marseille at the end of last season to be near his mother, who is ill. "If I could have played for Toulouse everything would have been clear as I was not coming for money," he said.
"But I have no right to complain. I've been privileged."
Barthez, who received the last of his 87 caps at the World Cup final France lost to Italy on penalties, played for Toulouse, Marseille, Monaco and Manchester United.
He won the World Cup on home soil in 1998 before helping France to the European championship two years later in Rotterdam.
He was a surprise first choice for this year's World Cup but has since been replaced by Gregory Coupet.