For many footballers, the right time to peak in the career is between the ages of 21-29. After that, it becomes usually hard for you to become a success as your career becomes ravaged with injuries and of course, the younger generation is coming in and forcing you to the bench which incidentally means less game time.
However, some players have fought off this norm and have gone on to have greater careers after they have hit the age of 30. For some of them, even in their 20’s they could only imagine being good players.
In that regard, today we will take a look at some of the players who managed and have written history even after they clocked the big 30.
5. Aritz Aduriz
When Soldado was interviewed about a possible Spain call-up for the upcoming Euro games, he replied that the talk is disrespect to Aduriz, the 35-year-old Athletic Club forward.
Since his return to Bilbao from Valencia in 2012, Aduriz has scored more than 60 goals and currently without doubt he is one of the best Spanish hitmen in the domestic league. He has gone on to win his only silverware with Athletic Club in 2015 against Barca where he scored a hat trick in one leg and equalized in the other to guarantee his side the Copa del Rey trophy.
4. Roger Milla
One of Africa’s greatest players of the last 50 years of the past century. Milla is highly remembered for his great outing for the Cameroonian national team during the 1990 World Cup in Italy at age 38.
At that tournament, his goals helped his nation become the first African team to reach the World Cup and four years later he went on to become the tourney’s oldest goal scorer.
3. Edwin Van der Sar
One of the two stoppers Manchester United will always remember. He signed for the team at 35 years with 9 major honours to his name.
Many players at that age with such honours usually hang up their boots, but to the Dutch legend it was just the beginning of a colourful career and during his stay at the Theatre of Dreams, he went on to win 8 major trophies.
Over the weekend, Van der Sar was back between the posts this time for his first amateur team where he put on a show by saving a penalty. The 45-year-old Ajax Marketing Director has still got it.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan onetime said, he is like wine. He gets sweeter with age. In his twenties, Zlatan was a good striker because he played at the top in most leagues but he became a more prolific and influential striker when he was past 30, a time when many footballers had been struggling to gain ground.
At 34, PSG still want to keep the Swede beyond this season when his contract expires because he has been very pivotal in their four-time league triumphs.
1. Abby Wambach
For starters Mary Abigail Wambach is a retired 35year old American female footballer. She comes as a surprise on this list since their male counterparts overshadow them too much mainly due to the TV time given to the others.
She won the World Cup last year with USA before she retired and also has 2 Olympic Gold medals under her belt that is from Beijing and Athens. Abby was also the female footballer of the year in 2012 after an impressive season.
She has scored more goals for both clubs and country for the last five years of her career than during the youthful part of it.
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Author: Katende Basajjabaka
Katende is a Computer Science practitioner with a love for sports. He writes and breaths football in and out. In his free time, he enjoys reading all kinds of informative literature.