Who Are the Oldest Football Stars that Still Play?

There are many soccer players who have a high level, despite their age. And who are the oldest? We tell you about some of them.

Gianluigi Buffon, Rodrigo Palacio and Kazuyoshi Miura

Photos: IG-gianluigibuffon, IG-rodrigopalaciok, IG-kazuyoshimiura99

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: ¿Quiénes son los futbolistas más longevos en actividad?

There is a belief that the professional career of most footballers usually lasts an average of 15 years. Generally, they debut or settle in the first team at the age of 20, and then finish at the age of 35. However, it is clear that there are exceptions, either because they debut earlier or because they retire later.

Zlatan Ibrahimović

A very clear example is that of Zlatan Ibrahimović, one of the best strikers in history, who continues 100% in force at AC Milan. At 40 years old, the Swede decided to renew his contract for one more season, something he achieved thanks to his enormous performance, as he contributed 8 goals in 23 games, being the figure of the Serie A champion.

Let us remember that this forward returned to AC Milan in the 2019-2020 season and, until then, he has scored 33 goals in 60 games, a truly impressive figure for his age. However, there are other cases of veteran football players who continue to be active and performing well. We tell you who they are.

Gianluigi Buffon

Buffon is one of the best goalkeepers in history. However, it also stands out for something interesting: its great performance despite the passage of time. At 44, the Italian goalkeeper, who won multiple titles with Juventus and even the 2006 World Cup with Italy, has announced that he plans to hang up his gloves at 55.

Recall that Buffon made his Parma debut in 1995 at the age of 17, when most of today's world football stars weren't even born. He returned to Parma in Serie B, where he is the undisputed goalkeeper. He even dreams of qualifying and playing in a new World Cup, something he can accomplish in 2026.

Without a doubt, Buffon is a demonstration that the careers of some players can extend more than believed.


Let's continue with another of the best players currently in Europe. Recently, the Spaniard announced his renewal for one season, until 2023. The curious thing? That he is 40 years old and plays in a position where physicality is crucial, since he usually plays as a midfielder on the right.

He is an idol of Betis, a club with which he recently managed to win a Copa del Rey. Although he had always had a good level, the curious thing is that he “exploded” in performance during the last seasons, when age was supposed to play against him. For this reason, he will try to continue on the path of success in his club.

Also read: Six soccer players to follow in the Copa América Femenina

As a color fact, he is the player with the most games played in the history of Betis. It would not be unusual for him to continue in this team, at least, for a couple more years.

Rodrigo Palacio

Palacio is another of the players whom the passage of time does not seem to have affected. His case was quite atypical, since he debuted in the 2001-2002 season, but he only arrived in Europe in the 2009-2010 season, when he arrived at Genoa, after achieving great success in Boca Juniors.

The 40-year-old Argentine striker also proved to live up to expectations there, which is why he arrived at Inter Milan in the 2012-2013 season, to stay there until the 2016-2017 season. Then, he would arrive at Bologna, where he was until 2020-2021, to currently be part of Brescia in Serie B.

He is the undisputed starter for his team and continues to score numerous goals. He does not plan to retire, so we will surely see him for several more years in Europe.

Kazuyoshi Miura

Finally, a bonus track. Here we have seen many veteran players who maintain their level, but are you wondering who is the oldest in history? Well, it is this Japanese, who is a true legend in Japan. At 55, he is part of the Suzuka Point Getters, on loan from Yokohama FC.

This striker made his debut in 1982 in Shizuoka Ga. HS, but then he had different steps through clubs in various countries, such as Brazil, Italy, Croatia, or Australia. The truth is that, despite the time that has passed, Miura has shown that he is up to the task and is the oldest player to remain active and even score a goal.

The most curious? That he has not planned a retirement, since he will play "until the body allows it".

We hope this article has been of interest to you!

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