World XI: Veterans yet to retire

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When a player leaves a top club as a result of his age, we almost forget that they once graced our screens in the most exciting football matches we've ever watched.

Some retire, true enough; however, some players go on to play for lesser clubs, causing some football fans to assume they've hung up their boots.

This article counts down a team of legends who are still plying their trade to this day, despite arguably being past their sell-by dates.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Dida

There were a number of players that could have filled this position, as goalkeepers tend to go on forever, but the AC Milan and Brazil legend fits the bill perfectly.

In 2010, Dida left the San Siro, and seemingly called a day on a career that saw him win the World Cup in 2002 and play against the greatest players in the world in Serie A and on the world stage.

However in 2010, at the ripe old age of 38, Dida made a U-turn on his two-year hiatus and began playing for Portuguesa in the Brazilian top-flight. Now at Gremio, Dida may still have time to prove a few doubters wrong, after being dubbed by many as inconsistent and unreliable.

Left-back: Lee Young-Pyo

OK, so Lee may not be the most famous name on this list by any means, but the former Tottenham full-back still deserves a place on this list.

Now at 36 and playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS, many thought the "best left-back in Holland" would call time on his career after he left Borussia Dortmund in 2009. Instead, he went on to play for Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal FC for two years before being snapped up by the Canadians.

Pacey, confident, and strong in the tackle, Lee slots in this squad comfortably.

Centre-back: Alessandro Nesta

Undeniably one of the best centre-backs we've ever seen in world football, Nesta is still a superb tackler and tactician for his Montreal Impact team. 

A four-time member of the UEFA Team of the Year and World Cup winner, the 37-year-old has also been named in the FIFA 100 - a list compiled by Pele in 2004 celebrating the best players in the world. What more is there to say, other than yes, he's still an active player - despite leaving AC Milan last year.

Centre-back: Rolando Schiavi

A man some may remember from Argentina's 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, Schiavi has played for some of South America's top teams during his 20-year career so far.

A former Gremio, Old Boy's and Boca Juniors defender, the 40-year-old now plies his trade at Shanghai Shenhua in China's top flight, and only just missed out on the opportunity to be in the same starting 11 as Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba.

Right-back: Gianluca Zambrotta

Another former AC Milan player, people may be forgiven for thinking he hung up his boots at the end of last season following four years at the Italian giants.

However, the 36-year-old is still a free-agent and has not officially announced he has pulled the curtain down on a World Cup-winning career. Recently linked to Ireland's Airtricity League, he may still have a few years left in his ageing legs, albeit at a smaller, more modest club.

Defensive-midfielder: Edgar Davids

A player who fans of the English lower leagues will be well aware is still running up and down on those 40-year-old legs.

The former Netherlands international is one of the greatest defensive minded midfielders of the modern era. Davids was another player many thought had retired after taking two years out of the game following a brief spell at Crystal Palace. Strong, aggressive and gifted with a rocket of a shot, he still may continue to play for Barnet in the Conference next season, combining playing with his managerial role.

Defensive-midfielder: Ze Roberto

Able to play anywhere across the midfield, either in an attacking or defensive role, Ze Roberto has carved himself into an exceptional footballer, and a man worthy of his 84 international caps.

Many may have thought he had called it a day after leaving Hamburger SV in 2011, but the 38-year-old still booms up and down the pitch for Gremio in the Brazilian league. Blessed with pace and natural ability, he has confirmed he will continue playing into next season.

Attacking-midfielder: Juan Roman Riquelme

A player with exceptional vision and goal-scoring ability from midfield, Riquelme is a playmaker of the highest order and deserves a place in this team.

The youngest member of the squad at just 34, many thought Riquelme had hung up his boots following his release from Boca Juniors last year. However, he has since been re-signed by the Argentines, and with years to catch up on the other members of this squad, he may still be around for a few seasons yet.

Attacking-midfielder: Cuauhtémoc Blanco

Remembered mostly for his days at Mexican club America, and for a highly impressive 119 international caps, Blanco is a top candidate for this squad.

Playing in the second tier of Mexican football, the 40-year-old is captain of club Dorados de Sinaloa, and only three years ago retired from international duty. Blanco is certainly a player many think retired long ago.

Attacking-midfielder: Mauro Camoranesi

The Argentina-born Italian international has had a career full of controversy due to his highly aggressive nature on the football field.

However, technically, Camoranesi has long been one of Italy's finest passers and is blessed with superb vision. Able to play on the wing or down the middle, many thought the 36-year-old called it a day after his spell at Juventus, but he still plies his trade in the Argentinian top-flight, playing for Racing Club.

Striker: Rivaldo

Despite not being an "out-and-out" striker or your classic No. 9, Rivaldo sits nicely up front in this formation, after banging in 382 goals so far in a career spanning over 22 years.

Famous for his diving heroics in 2002, the 41-year-old still plays to this day, and still at a fairly decent level of the game - the second tier of Brazilian football at Sao Caetano.

So far, he has netted twice in six appearances, proving he still has what it takes to score goals. I wouldn't be surprised if the brilliant Brazilian has one more stint in the top flight left in him, perhaps at former club Sao Paulo.

Do you agree with my selections or is there anyone else you would want to see here? Comment on the article below!


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