Top 5 World Football Players over 35 Years Old

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Top 5 World Football Players over 35 Years Old
Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

With the onus often being on praising the up-and-coming young stars of the game, the elder statesmen still plying their trade at a consistently high level of performance tend to get overlooked.

It was, admittedly, difficult to whittle the initial list of players over 35 down to just five players, so as a rule, the position of goalkeeper has been omitted.

There are, then, a few honourable mentions in order.

First, Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon remains a key player for club and country. Despite the odd misjudgment, such as with Giuseppe Rossi's second strike two weeks ago, the 35-year-old is still capable of winning matches with vital saves.

While Inter legend Javier Zanetti will undoubtedly go down as one of the game's all-time great full-backs, he misses out due to the fact he has been out injured since rupturing his Achilles tendon in April. Despite this, the 40-year-old is poised to make a comeback later this month.

Likewise, Barcelona stalwart Carles Puyol misses out due to his injury troubles. The 35-year-old has only recently returned to the side, but has already added the solidity they lack whenever he is out.

39-year-old Ryan Giggs fails to make the list because of lack of playing time, while 37-year-old journeyman striker Sebastien Abreu continues to score goals on a semi-regular basis for current club Rosario Central, but he misses out due to the form of others. Likewise, Miroslav Klose would be shoe-in were it based on last season's form, and while he is undoubtedly still massively important for Lazio, he doesn't quite make the list.

Evergreen Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni deserves a mention, simply because he is one of the greats of the game. To still be playing at 40 is impressive. To do it while scoring over 100 career goals, despite playing in a position usually contained in an 18-yard box, will generally create a legend. No pressure, Joe Hart.

Anyway, on to the current top five...



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