Most footballers' performances start to decline when they are on the wrong side of 30 and one would expect them to retire in their mid 30s.
However, there are some special footballers who have been able to maintain their fitness and talent even after the age of 35.
Without further ado, let us take a look at five of the best footballers aged 35 and above who are still performing at the highest level.
5 best active footballers aged 35 and above
At the ripe age of 38, Joaquin is the oldest footballer in this list. Apart from two seasons in Italy, the Spanish veteran played in La Liga for 17 seasons and is third on the all-time list for most appearances in La Liga.
The most striking feature about the Real Betis captain is that he has equalled his most productive season, scoring 10 goals in 28 appearances in 2019-20. This season, Joaquin became the oldest player to score a La Liga hat-trick.
It will be fascinating to see for how long this experienced winger can keep the engine running.
#4 Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world ever since he moved to AC Milan in 2009. The Brazilian defender is now at Paris Saint-Germain, but at the age of 35, he is still one of the first names on the team sheet.
Silva is known for his towering presence in the air and uncanny ability to read attackers’ movements. This ability to read movements allows him to make blocks and time slide tackles to perfection.
With his contract expiring at the end of the season, PSG will be looking to retain their captain, who has already given them seven Ligue 1 titles in eight seasons.
#3 Franck Ribery
After twelve successful seasons in Bavaria, Ribery decided to move off to pastures anew at Fiorentina last summer.
At 37, the Frenchman has not been able to play with the same intensity as in previous seasons. But there have been glimpses of his attacking prowess.
He is still able to dribble past players with ease and has shown his class by picking out teammates from the deep. It seems that Ribery still has a few seasons left in him.
#2 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
What can one say about Zlatan Ibrahimovic? There are many so-called 'facts' about the indomitable Swede, such as “Oxygen needs Zlatan to survive.”
Jokes aside, it is safe to say that Ibrahimovic is one of the greatest strikers of his generation. His illustrious career has seen him play at Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Barcelona, PSG and Manchester United. He is currently in his second stint at Milan after he joined the Italian club from LA Galaxy in the January transfer window.
The 38 year old made an instant impact at the San Siro by scoring four goals. There are doubts whether the veteran striker will stay at Milan for the next season, but one can be sure that Ibrahimovic will not be retiring any time soon.
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo just keeps getting better and better. He turned 35 in February but it seems that he is playing with the same vigour as a 20 year old does.
The Juventus forward has scored 25 goals this season, with a mind-blowing 21 goals in 22 Serie A appearances.
He has broken multiple records this season, including scoring in 11 consecutive Serie A games. Ronaldo emulated Alexis Sanchez in becoming the second player to score hat-tricks in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.
Considering his athletism and goal-scoring prowess, Ronaldo is not likely to stop any time soon.
One thing is for sure, Ronaldo, one of the best players of his generation, if not of all time, will be sorely missed once he decides to hang up his boots for good.
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