It is said that football is a young man's game. Though players like Gianluigi Buffon and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are proving that age is just a number, that is more an aberration than the rule.
Five big-name players who are past their prime
Considering the physicality requirements of the game, most players have about a decade to showcase their skills. Beyond that period, their skills and physical attributes tend to be on the wane.
On that note, let's have a look at five big-name players who are seemingly past their prime.
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#5 Cesc Fabregas | AS Monaco
Spain have produced a lot of world-class players since the turn of the century. Cesc Fabregas is one who has won two EUROs and a World Cup with La Furia Roja and is still active in Europe.
Fabregas has made a name for himself with his impressive decision-making and passing skills with Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea.
The player, who has 111 assists in the Premier League, was the creator of Andres Iniesta's winning goal for Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.
Currently, he plies his trade with Ligue 1 side Monaco after joining them in January 2019 on a three-and-a-half-season-long deal. However, he has been intermittently used at the club.
Despite his excellent playmaking abilities, Fabregas has only picked up five assists for his latest employers.
Nevertheless, the 33-year-old player has an impressive trophy cabinet and has won at every club he's started for. However, the UEFA Champions League trophy is conspicuous by its absence in his otherwise trophy-laden career.
#4 Franck Ribery | Fiorentina
Bayern Munich won a lot of trophies in the last decade, including the first-ever treble by a German club in 2013. Though they have always had extraordinary players in their ranks, Franck Ribery stood out because of his consistent performances and his devastating partnership with Arjen Robben up front.
The French player spent 12 years in Munich, where his pace, trickery and vision helped him amass over 120 assists in the Bundesliga.
He peaked in the 2012-13 campaign when his role in Bayern Munich's treble-winning campaign saw him getting nominated on the three-man shortlist for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The 37-year-old winger has lost some of his pace, but his ball control is still immaculate.
Since moving to Fiorentina, the player has scored only three goals across all competitions. He has expressed his desire to move back to Bundesliga recently, but Ribery's best seems to be behind him.