5 players who peaked after turning 30
Football is a profession which exerts tremendous strain on an individual's body, especially on those who play at an elite level. Players often find their careers punctuated or ended by injuries.
Very rarely, if at all, does a player venture into his late thirties playing at the highest level. More often than not players descend into the lower leagues or retire at this age. However, some players have not followed this norm.
Aided by awareness and physical care, numerous players have raised their level after turning thirty, a number which is dreaded by most of their counterparts. Naturally, they had to undergo tweaks in position and playing style. But they can assert with ample evidence that the changes were for the better.
Such players are quite rare and their elongated levels of excellence are a testament to their fitness ethic and mental fortitude. On that note, here are 5 players who peaked after turning 30.
One of the finest midfielders ever to grace the football pitch, Xavi had a hugely successful career for Spain and Barcelona. Blessed with tremendous vision and innate composure, he translated that on the pitch to give way to pleasurable football.
Don't get me wrong, Xavi was terrific in his twenties, but he arguably bettered that in the latter part of his career. The Spaniard turned thirty in January 2010 and had already won four league titles and two Champions League titles by then.
He won the World Cup and the league in 2010 and his midfield magic propelled him to third place in the Ballon d'Or rankings. 2011 saw five more trophies and another third-place individual finish, playing a crucial role as Barcelona played out one of the most exhilarating seasons in recent history.
More international success was to come for Xavi as Spain triumphed at Euro 2012 to complete three consecutive major titles. He would go on to win another treble in 2015 to round off a glittering career at the Camp Nou.
Xavi provided us with uncountable magical moments throughout his career, but arguably his greatest act came near the curtain.