•Sergio Ramos 35 (Real Madrid)
•Thiago Silva 36 (Chelsea)
•Cristiano Ronaldo 36 (Juventus)
•Arjen Robben 37 (FC Groningen)
•Franck Ribery 38 (Fiorentina)
•Zlatan Ibrahimovic 39 (AC Milan)
•Gianluigi Buffon 43 (Juventus)
Some players are blessed. The older they grow, the better they get. They are ageless, evergreen and very reliable.
Some of them quit both club and country yet they are recalled by the later as other big clubs seek their services.
They perform. They inspire the young generation. They serve as player/manager or coach on the field of play. They even propel their clubs to glory.
For instance at 39 Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still scoring crucial goals for AC Milan. On account of his blistering form he has been recalled into the Swedish national team as he eyes Qatar 2022 World Cup where he hopes to score a goal and sustain his record.
Thiago is leading Chelsea to a Champions League final at 36. Arjen Robben at 37 is very relevant in Groningen. The Dutch great has continued to score vital goals thus pushing his club to enviable position.
On his part Cristiano Ronaldo at 36 is still one of the most wanted players on the planet. He has maintained A-class display in the last 14 years. His €100m move from Real Madrid to Juventus spoke volume of his worth even after crossing 30. There is no doubt that he could land another mouth watering transfer deal should he leave the Old Lady.
There must be something special about these players. This exclusive club has a magic wand. Perhaps they are very discipline and manage their health and physical condition very professionally.
They look fit to go on till perhaps their legs or feet can no longer carry them. But they get motivated not by their fat pay but by their endless it insatiable thirst for glory. For instance, Silva will likely get another 12 months contract should Chelsea lift the UCL trophy.
This is simply because the player has been very influential on and off the field of play. His presence and impact in Stamford Bridge since he moved from Paris to London has been massive ...and he could go on.
It is worrisome that African players quit once they get pass 30. One can hardly find any African player at 35 still playing top flight European football.
This should be of great concern to Confederation of African Football (CAF) especially now that the continent has Amaju Melvin Pinnick in the apex Executive Council of FIFA.