Ranking the best Premier League players aged over 35
Age is a very important factor in professional football. A player usually reaches his peak in his mid to late twenties, and when he enters his thirties, he starts to decline. Naturally, it is difficult to keep up with the rigours and demands of top-flight European football.
But there are still several players who continue to defy age and are performing at the highest levels, even though they might be well past their peak.
The perfect example is Gianluigi Buffon, who is still first choice for a team like Juventus that continuously challenges for both domestic and European titles, at the age of 39. Francesco Totti retired only last year, at the age of 40.
Here we take a look at the 5 best Premier League players who are 35 or older.
5. Michael Carrick
Manchester United signed Michael Carrick in the summer of 2006, which makes him their oldest serving player right now. He is also the oldest member of the squad and took over the captaincy from the departing Wayne Rooney at the start of the season.
He might not be the first choice in midfield this year after the arrival of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea, but he was a consistent first team member throughout last season, forming a formidable midfield trio with Herrera and Pogba.
At his peak, Carrick was one of the best deep-lying playmakers in the Premier League. His defensive awareness enables him to make crucial interceptions to break down attacks and start moves from his own half with his pinpoint passing.
He was never really a fast player to begin with. So age hasn't robbed him of his pace. Instead, his tactical intelligence enables him to keep up with the speed of English football with his quick passes and his anticipation of threats from the opposition and attacking opportunities for his teammates.
His defensive attributes and passing range remain good enough to merit a place on this list, and with injuries to Pogba and Fellaini reducing Mourinho's midfield options, he might get a chance to prove himself to the Portuguese boss. His performance against Burton proved that he is still as sharp as ever, so don't be surprised if he makes a comeback to the starting XI.