Players entering the twilight of their careers are often cast aside in favour of younger, fitter and fearless alternatives. But this XI proves that age & experience are two essential characteristics to any successful side.
Here is my all-star world XI made up of players aged 32 and over. But do you agree with my pick? Leave a comment below and put forward your suggestions!
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (35) | Juventus
The Italian legend continues to put in stalwart performances week-after-week for Juventus, and he certainly has shown no signs of slowing down. The World Cup winning goalkeeper is still one of the best in world football, even at the ripe old-age of 35.
Right-back: Javier Zanetti (39) | Inter Milan
Who else but Zanetti? The 39-year-old is still playing regularly for Inter Milan and is still internationally active, with a haul of 145 caps for his country. A consummate professional, his career could continue for another couple of years yet.
Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand (34) | Manchester United
The former West Ham man has enjoyed an excellent season for Manchester United and has been a model of experience to the younger defenders around him in the continued absence of Nemanja Vidic. English football's most expensive defender continues to impress, even at the age of 34.
Centre-back: Sergio Ballesteros (37) | Levante
The titan of Levante's defence has had two superb seasons. He helped Levante to a record sixth-place finish last year and he has continued his good form into this campaign in both La Liga and the Europa League. At the age of 37, his career may not have long to run, but he is currently playing the best defensive football of his life.
Left-back: Anthony Reveillere (33) | Lyon
A product of the famed Rennes academy, Reveillere is Lyon's longest serving player and has shown why continuously throughout this season. The 33-year-old has played brilliantly throughout his time with Lyon, famously winning five league titles in a row after his arrival.
Right-midfield: Ronaldinho (33) | Atletico Mineiro
The two-time World Footballer of The Year has continued his career back in his homeland of Brazil with Atletico Mineiro and has shown why he was once the fear of defenders the world over. Now 33, he continues to perform well for both his club, and when called-upon, his country.
Centre-midfield: Xavi (33) | Barcelona
The Barcelona legend is still a metronomically accurate passer and continues to be the foundation on which the entire Catalan team is built. The very fact that he is still keeping Cesc Fabregas, the man signed to replace him, out of the team is a testament to his quality. Now 33, he looks set to continue for a couple of years yet.
Centre-midfield: Andrea Pirlo (33) | Juventus
The Juventus man has been brilliant for both club and country over the last two years. Released by AC Milan, the 33-year-old quickly set about proving his doubters wrong with a series of super performances propelling Juventus to the Serie A title without losing a game and then carrying Italy to the final of the European Championships. A true great.
Left-midfield: Francesco Totti (36) | AS Roma
A legend of AS Roma, with over 200 league goals for his club, Totti continues to perform to the highest level for Roma, with a recent derby goal against Lazio equalling the all-time record of goals in the fixture.
Striker: Didier Drogba (35) | Galatasaray
A Champions League winner with Chelsea last season, the big Ivorian recently made the switch to Turkish side Galatasaray where he has fitted in very well, scoring goals in both the Super Lig and Champions League, the most recent of which being a back-heel against the Spanish champions, Real Madrid. Now 33, he continues to excel.
Striker: Antonio Di Natale (35) | Udinese
The 35-year-old has been the best striker in Serie A for the past three years and his form won him a place in Italy's Euro's squad, despite his age. His remarkable longevity continues to amaze along with his goal-scoring ability that has brought him plaudits from all over the globe. He continues to shine both for his club, Udinese, and his country.
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