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Oldest Football Players in 2021

Saturday30 January 2021 | 14:30
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If you’re reading this article, you’re probably curious to know who exactly the oldest football player in 2021 is. Read on to find out.

How many soccer players above the age 35 are still playing? Where are they from? What team are they currently playing for? Well, in this article we are going to talk about the oldest football players in 2021 and so many other details that you need to know about them.

Many people would never consider aging as an honor or a privilege, but for these soccer players, it’s a trophy, a convincing reason that has made them worldwidely known professional footballers. They are patient, they are lovers of football, for it takes pure love and passion for a soccer player to stay so long playing for their teams and their fans. In fact, to be the

oldest football player in the world right now in 2021

is a real achievement!

This is all you need to know about the oldest soccer players in 2021:

The following list consists of the oldest football players in 2021.

Willy Caballero

We’re starting the list of

oldest football players in the world in 2021

with the 39 year old Willy Caballero. He was born in 28 September, 1981 in

Argentina

. Currently he’s playing for

Chelsea football club

which began from 2017. Caballero started his senior career in 2001 with

Boca Juniors

where he had 15 caps and stayed until 2004.

In 1 October 2011 he recorded a 480 minute clean sheet and because of this, his name was added to the Málaga's history books. The previous record was being held by Pedro Contreras which was 429 minutes and Willy Caballero beat it after 10 years!

Last year he was announced as the

oldest football player still playing

in the Premier League.

Zlatan Ibrahimović

Zlatan Ibrahimović is playing for one of the best football clubs in Italy. The 39 year old Swedish footballer is currently a forward player in

A.C. Millan

. His career has a very rich history, he has worked with some of the greatest football clubs including

Barcelona

,

Paris Saint-Germain

,

Manchester United

and

Juventus

. Ibrahimović joined Sweden national football club in 2001 where he became the all-time leading goalscorer and then left the national team in 2016.

His early career began in

Malmö FF

and in only two seasons, he made 40 caps and scored 16 goals for this successful Swedish team.

Along with the ninth oldest soccer player in 2021, he is regarded as one of the best strikers of all time. In 2006, while playing for in Inter Milan he won the Capocannoniere title. For the first time playing for Milan, he left after one season in 2011 but then came back again the same year stayed until another season. And finally he was convinced to return to Milan once more in 2020.

A fun fact about him is that he’s not only interested in football, but also in writing! He has written 2 books, both of them his own biography.

Exclusive SPORTMOB video

Roque Santa Cruz

Roque Santa Cruz's 25 years of playing soccer is so busy that we can’t talk about every aspect of it! Roque Santa Cruz is a 39 year old forward player from Paraguay.

From 1999, Santa Cruz has 112 caps for Paraguay national football club and has scored 32 goals for the team so far. He’s named as one of the best players in the Paraguay history of football besides being one of the oldest football players in the world in 2021.

He began playing professionally with

Olimpia

in 1997 and stayed with them for only two seasons. He has also played for

Manchester City

from 2009-2013 with 20 appearances and 3 goals. In 2001, he won both the International Cup and the UEFA Championship League.

But then again in 2006 he went back to Olimpia and is still playing so perfectly despite the fact that he is among the

oldest football players in 2021

!

Joaquín

Joaquín Sánchez Rodríguez is the next oldest football player in 2021!

This 39 year old soccer player was born in Municipality of El Puerto de Santa María, a city in the southwest of Spain. His first professional appearance was at Betis B. in only one season 1999-2000 he made 27 caps and scored 2 goals.

He has the most caps for Betis, which makes over 200. He played in UEFA Champions League season 2005-2006 along with

Betis

against

Chelsea

. His team won the game in a 1-0 victory.

Joaquín joined the Spain national team in 2002-2007, scored 4 goals and made 57 appearances, and currently he plays as a Midfielder for Real Betis.

Maxi Rodríguez

Born in 2 January, 1981 in Argentine, Maxi Rodríguez is commonly known as “La Fiera”. Both his youth and senior career started with Newell's Old Boys football club and now after 22 years, he’s still playing as a forward for them. So far he has played for many football clubs such as

Liverpool

(2010-12),

Atlético Madrid

(2005-10),

Espanyol

(2002-05), Peñarol (2017-18) and of course his country’s national football club from 2003 up to 2014.

Among all of these teams, he has made the most appearances for Newell's Old Boys, which means 228 times, and scoring 77 goals.

While he was playing for Argentina national under-20 football team, he won the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship. He scored four goals in 5 matches for the team. In 2006 he attended and played in the FIFA World Cup and in a 6-0 win against Serbia and Montenegro, he scored two goals for Argentina.

Certainly there should be a strong connection between Rodríguez and Newell's Old Boys football club, because after many years of playing for different clubs, he finally returned to Newell's Old Boys. It might feel like home to him!

Also it should be noted that beside all the accomplishments he has made so far, being a 40 year old footballer has given him the privilege to be one of the oldest soccer players still playing in 2021.

Lee Dong-gook

The 41 year old Lee Dong-gook is another member of the oldest football players in 2021 squad! He was born in April 29, 1979 in Pohang-si, South Korea. His senior career officially began in 1998, playing for Pohang Steelers. Also in season 1997-98 with his attribution, the team scored two goals in the Asian Club Championship. It was a really good start for him, having 102 caps and scoring 38 goals for the team until 2007.

Also in the same year he found his way all through the South Korea national team until 2017; he made 102 appearances with 33 goals and meanwhile played at AFC Asian Cups twice, 2000 Summer Olympics once and FIFA World Cups twice.

In 2005 Lee Dong-gook joined Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to play for the team as a forward and has appeared 356 times and scored 162 goals so far.

Exclusive SPORTMOB video

Shunsuke Nakamura

One can achieve so many things by the time they’re 42 and Shunsuke Nakamura has achieved the fourth spot on the list of

oldest soccer players still playing in 2021

. Our Japanese football player started his professional career in 1997 for Yokohama F. Marinos and overall, made 338 appearances for the team. Nakamura has played for the European football clubs such as Celtic, Espanyol and Reginna.

2007 was a busy year for this soccer player for he was announced at the same time as the first Japanese player who has scored in the UEFA Champions League and the SFWA Footballer of the Year and also the Scottish Player of the Year.

Both in 2006 and 2010, he was present at the FIFA World Cup finals for the Japan national football team. In fact, he appeared 98 times during his contract with the Japan national football team between the years 2000-2010. He scored 24 goals for the national team.

Our fourth icon on the list of the oldest football players in 2021, has got a long list of accomplishments. He is the one and only person who has been announced as J.League Most Valuable Player more than only once. And another interesting thing to add to his list is the fact that an Asteroid is named after him.

And finally in 2019, Nakamura went back to Yokohama F. Marinos and is still playing for the team.

Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon was born in January 28, 1978, is considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time and is currently playing for one of the best football clubs in Italy, Juventus. He is Gianluigi Buffon, the Italian guy on the list of

oldest football players in the world right now

. He does a crazily excellent job as a goalkeeper that actually has recorded the longest streak without even missing a goal in the whole history of Serie A. Having made more than 1,000 professional appearances for various teams, he also has been named as one of the very few people to do so.

As well as youth career, his professional career started with Parma football club. Also he made 17 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain in 2018-19 season.

He joined his country’s national team in 1997 and left in 2018, but while playing for the team he succeeded to have the most clean sheets. Besides being one of the oldest soccer players still playing, he is truly a history changing footballer. During his playing in 2015-16 season, nobody could’ve beaten him for over 970 minutes.  Among all the most capped European international footballers, he has got the second spot and also the first spot for having the most caps for his national team. From 1998 up to 2014, he attended and played in all the five FIFA World Cup tournaments.

In addition to all of his accomplishments, in the list of FIFA 100 he was also named among the world's greatest living players in 2004. He has won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award which makes him the only goalkeeper who has ever received such award.

And this is not about all the categories in which he’s involved, there are so many other achievements and awards and nominations that make him indeed one of the greatest besides being one of the oldest football players in 2021.

Vitorino Hilton

Getting closer to the number one on the list of

oldest football players in 2021

, the second spot is dedicated to the Brazilian- Philippine professional footballer, Vitorino Hilton. At the age of 43, he’s still playing for the French team Montpellier HSC as a defender. He signed his contract with this club in 2011 and appeared 305 times, scoring 10 goals.

His professional career started with the Brazilian football club, Chapecoense, in 1996. He scored his first goal in season 2000-01 in a play for Servette FC. In 2003 Hilton played along with his team against Zürich, which was a 3-1 win for Servette. In that game, Hilston scored one goal which was his first league goal.

In an interview about joining Montpellier at the age 33, Hilton said that it was a fresh start for him and he had a great time winning the league and playing for the team even when there wasn’t so many people supporting him.

Kazuyoshi Miura

And finally number one on the list of

oldest football players in 2021

is the legendary Kazuyoshi Miura. He was born in 26 February 1967 in the city Shizuoka. Having a big dream worth risking, Miura traveled to Brazil alone to learn how to play football and develop himself when he was only 15. And in fact, he actually did develop a lot. He became a star among so many other footballers. Even from the start, Miura was truly ambitious and determined. He began his professional career in 1986 at the age 19 for Santos football club. After 4 years of playing for various Brazilian football clubs, he finally finds within himself the tendency of returning to his own country.

Due to the success he made in Brazil, back in Japan, the JSL (Japan Soccer League) accepted him as a professional player and later on in 1993 he was announced as J.League Most Valuable Player.

His career in the Japan national football team as Japan’s first soccer superstar began in 1990 up to 2000. Meanwhile he played at Asian Games in the years 1990 and 1994, at Asian Cups in the years 1992 and 1996 and at World Cup qualification games in the years 1994 and 1998. Overall, he appeared 89 times in Japan national football team and scored 55 goals for them.

He has had the most appearances for Yokohama FC which is 277 times and has scored the most for Verdy Kawasaki FC, which is considered to be 100 goals. Also he was honored to play for Genoa as the first Japanese footballer who plays in Italy for the Serie A season 1994-95.

And at the end, this Japanese footballer is currently playing for Yokohama FC as a forward player while he is 53 years old and also the oldest football player in the world right now.

The list of

oldest soccer players in 2021

is indeed a very long list. Actually it’s not only about the oldest football players still playing, it’s about the treasures of the whole football history. If these people have made their way through this list, it means they have changed the world and their names should be noted somewhere for everyone to remember them forever and always.

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