Over the past few seasons, there have been countless players throughout Europe who have stood out for both their quality and their age.
At Manchester United, the return of Paul Scholes from retirement last season, along with the consistency of fellow veteran Ryan Giggs, galvanized the club for much of the campaign and both had little control over losing the title to "noisy neighbors" Manchester City in the final minute of overall league play.
After 20 years of service to United, Scholes and Giggs continue to feature under Sir Alex Ferguson at 38 and 39 years old, respectively.
In international competition, the example of Italy is also often brought up to cite the value of experience, as the national setup regularly featured footballers well into their thirties under Marcelo Lippi for their 2006 World Cup victory and prior to his failure on the same stage in 2010.
This list will look at some of the most valuable players of old age still plying their trade in domestic and continental competition throughout Europe.
As there are still numerous footballers, especially in the Italian Serie A, who play until the not-so-ripe age of 35, it will look at players who probably have a few years left in the tank, and not those soon retiring like Brad Friedel of Tottenham Hotspur or Francesco Totti of Roma.
Let’s begin with the greatest Italian playmaker of the past decade…