Chelsea star Frank Lampard has no intention of retiring from international football and revealed his desire to be in the England squad that, hopefully, travels to Brazil for the World Cup in a little under two year's time.
Lampard would be at the ripe old age of 36 were he to travel with Roy Hodgson’s men to South America – an age that most footballers would normally be considered a little too long in the tooth for top-level international football.
However, the times they are a-changin’ and the elder generation of football’s current stars are retaining relevance well into their thirties, so it would be unwise to dismiss the Blues midfielder too soon.
In fact, there are a number of world stars more advanced in their years that could still be doing the business at Brazil 2014, and GMF have found five of the best for your perusal.
Here they are:
Andrea Pirlo, Juventus
Italy were unexpected finalists at Euro 2012 and much of Europe’s press were raving about the 33-year-old Pirlo as if they had never seen him play before. Pirlo’s class at the tournament will have been no surprise to watchers of Serie A, not least those who followed Juventus on their unbeaten run to the title last season.
Pirlo will be 35 when the next World Cup comes along and his game should not be affected too greatly in the intervening years, his movement and unwavering control of the football make a lessening in mobility a small problem.
The Barcelona man has 115 caps for La Roja and you would not bet against him extending that by some way, eventually overtaking Andoni Zubizarreta in second with 126, though you cannot see him catching up with the younger Iker Casillas at the top with 137.
Xavi will be 34 for Brazil 2014 and his importance to both club and country suggest, if he stays fit, he will still be around not losing the ball in midfield.
Patrice Evra, France
Manchester United have reportedly been eyeing up long-term replacements for the man they bought from Monaco six years ago, but he continues to put in impressive performances on the left of Sir Alex Ferguson’s defence.
He has survived the fallout from two successive major tournament bust-ups inside Les Bleus’ camp and is one of the players that does not seem to be fazed by in-fighting, not prone to media outbursts. Evra will be 33 when the France squad is announced for the finals and his work-rate up and down the left does not look like letting up for the moment – he’ll be a shoe-in if they get there.
Dirk Kuyt, Holland
His departure from Liverpool this summer led many to decide that Dirk Kuyt’s career is on the slide, but a move to Turkish side Fenerbache has seen him just a play-off away from returning to the Champions League – a competition the Anfield side hasn’t experienced for a couple of years.
The former Feyenoord man has never been the most fashionable player for fans, but nearly every manager he has played under acknowledged his importance to the side. Kuyt’s work-rate has always been one of the more impressive aspects of his game, which comes about by him staying in peak physical shape – something that is likely to keep him playing until well past his 34th birthday in 2014.
Miroslav Klose, Germany
Similarly to Kuyt, Klose has never been lauded quite so much as his more fashionable team-mates, which possibly comes form his club form not being quite so explosive as his displays for die Nationalmannschaft.
At 34, Klose is pushing the boundaries of age for an international forward, but his willingness to work hard has made him an asset to a string of Germany managers. Major tournaments are the Lazio striker’s domain and her remains second in the all-time list of World Cup goalscorers on 14, level with legendary compatriot Gerd Muller. Just one behind Brazil’s Ronaldo, the prospect of breaking the record maybe just the thing to push him to making another World Cup squad.
What other Golden Oldies do you think could shine at Brazil 2014?
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