38-year-old Ryan Giggs made his 900th appearance on Sunday and scored a late winner to cap it – this led GMF to wonder what other golden oldies there have been in recent times.
It takes a special kind of athlete to go on for so long and to do so at the level Manchester United operate at.
There a very few players who can boast so long at such a successful club, but there are a few from world football and GMF has compiled a list of the most prominent and fan favourites.
Ryan Giggs, Manchester United
We’ll start with the man of the moment shall we? Not a lot can be said about a man who just continues to churn out quality performance after quality performance. It still astonishes how well he has managed to transform his role within the team and continue to be relevant to their successes.
Paul Scholes, Manchester United
Well we couldn’t include Giggs without his long-term team-mate and one year his junior. Scholes’ decision to come out of retirement in January looks to have been a good one, as he has already scored twice and United have not in the five Premier League games since his return.
Paolo Maldini, AC Milan
The Italian is one of the most respected figures in modern football and epitomised the idea of defending with class. Defenders in Italy are often depicted as cynical and dirty, but Maldini showed many how to defend cleanly and with class. He played for Milan over 600 times in a career that spanned 25 years at the top, wining five European cups and seven Serie A titles among many others. He retired in 2009 at the age of 41.
Javier Zanetti, Inter Milan
It is hard to put this evergreen Argentine in any position as he has played in most and can do so better than many others. He hold the most appearances record for both Inter and Argentina and has captained the Italian side since 1999. Now 38 years old, Zanetti can still be found ploughing a furrow along the right hand side in San Siro. Famed for being a thoroughly nice man and a great player to boot.
Clarence Seedof, AC Milan
Although slightly younger than the other in this list at 35, the Dutchman has been around for so long it is hard to remember him making his way into European football with Ajax. It was with the Dutch club that he won his first of a record breaking four European cups with three different teams (Ajax, Real Madrid & AC Milan).
Brad Freidel, Tottenham Hotspur
The American goalkeeper is experiencing something of a renaissance in his old age – he turned 40 in May. While not always laying for one of the big clubs in England, Friedel has been wowing people at his agility for a player of his age. Even more baffling is that he is in arguably in the form of his life and looks as though he can keep going for a couple more years.
Dennis Bergkamp, Arsenal
‘The Iceman’ as he was known at Highbury retired from football in 2006 at the age of 37 and at the highest level. Will forever be considered one of Arsenal’s greatest players. Much like Giggs has done now, Bergkamp adapted his game after the exuberance of his youth began to fade. He was peerless when it came to control of the football and scored countless spectacular goals.
So, those are just a few names who can be considered true ‘Golden Oldies’, but GMF realises there are many more too.
We’ll set the lower age limit to 35 and you can tell us who you think could be in the same category as those above…
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