Mon 12 April 2021 | 19:29

The best over-35 players in world football

You would go through an engaging ride in the list of the best over 35 players in world football.

Ageing is assumed to be the worst enemy of footballers as it is usually accepted that the boots will be hung up sooner rather than later for players, more especially when their 35th birthday arrives.

In as much as most footballers' performances start to shrink when they are on the wrong side of 30, one would expect them to retire in their mid-30s. But you would not think that way if you could just take a look at the list of the best over 35 football players in the world who are still unquestionably strutting their stuff at the highest level.

In the light of advances in nutrition, technology, sports science, modern medicine and training regimes, age is increasingly becoming just a number in the world of football.

Much to most people consternation, there are plenty of stars still dominating as the best active footballers aged 35 and above, that have seized the opportunity of becoming older to further prove themselves to the world while calling up their utmost experiences in the games.

We have taken a comprehensive look across the globe to determine the best over 35 footballers still active up to now and ended up picking ten of

the best over 35 players in world football

listed as following. Make sure to stick around until the end.

The best over 35 players in world football

You would go through an engaging ride in the list of the best over 35 players in world football.

Manuel Neuer

  • Date of Birth

    : 27 March 1986, 35 years

Current Club


Bayern Munich

Manuel Neuer is a German professional player born in Gelsenkirchen-Buera who plays as a goalkeeper and captains both Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Germany national team.

He has played for FC

Schalke 04

from 1991-2011, for FC Schalke 04 II from 1991-2011 and also for FC Bayern München since 2011.

He is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the sport and has been regarded as a "sweeper-keeper" due to his unique playing style and agility when rushing off his line to predict opponents and going out of the goalkeeper box. He was named the best goalkeeper of the decade from 2011 to 2020 by IFFHS.

It seems that his age is by no means a barrier for our experienced Captain as in season 2020/21 with shirt number 1, he was in the starting line-up in all previous 28 games of the season and therefore is regarded as one of

the best active footballers aged 35 and above


Manuel Neuer has featured in 433 matches throughout his career in the Bundesliga and won 289 of them. Manuel Neuer took the German championship title in 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 while playing for FC Bayern München.

Sergio Ramos

  • Date of Birth

    : 30 March 1986, 35 years

Current Club


Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos is a Spanish footballer, who is also the captain of Spain’s national football team and the Spanish club Real Madrid.

Regarded as one of the best active footballers aged 35 and above, from very scratch he started his career as a player for a local club,


FC, playing as a defender at the age of 14.

His striking performances had him acquired by Real Madrid in 2005. His performance peaked in 2009. Since he was a defender, his goal tally was not that much high, but in the light of his defending skills, specifically his aerial threat and in-the-box tackles, he became one of the four captains of Real Madrid in the 2009–2010 season.

In July 2011, his contract was promoted till 2017, and in 2015, it was further extended till 2021. Hailed as one of the greatest defenders in the history of the sport, he has received praise for his leadership and goalscoring capabilities. Ramos is also applauded as one of the best modern defenders.


  • Date of Birth

    : 4 May 1985, 35 years

Current Club


Manchester City

Fernando Luiz Roza known as Fernandinho is a Brazilian professional footballer who is the captain of Manchester City as well as the Brazil national team as a calm and classy influence at the heart of midfield and central defender.

He started his career with Atletico Paranense and became popular as one of Brazil’s most promising youngsters in his three years there. Seizing the opportunity to promote his career in Europe, he got contracted for

Shakhtar Donetsk

in 2005.

He remained with Shakhtar for eight years, winning 14 medals including the UEFA Cup and six Ukrainian Premier League titles, as he was honing his craft on the Champions League stage.

Swapping Ukraine for Manchester, Fernandinho made an immediate impact in his debut 2013/14 season, and became a fundamental component of the jigsaw in the Club’s engine room making 41 appearances as City lifted the Premier League title and League Cup.

The tireless Brazilian has won nine trophies in nine seasons in Manchester, including three Premier Leagues, four League Cups, an FA Cup and the Community Shield.

As one of

the best over 35 football players in the world

, he may not be able to cover as much ground these days, but he is still a reliable midfield anchor who has demonstrated the ability to drop into defence to even further prolong his professional career.

Giorgio Chiellini

  • Date of Birth

    : 14 August 1984, 36 years

Current Club



Giorgio Chiellini is an Italian professional footballer who captains both Serie A club Juventus and the Italy national team in the position of defender.

He has a strong and aggressive physicality and is regarded as one of the world's best centre-backs qualified to play as a left-back, both in a three or four-man defence.

Chiellini started his career with


in 2000, and later played for Roma and Fiorentina, before moving to Juventus in 2005. With Juventus, he has achieved nine consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2020, along with four consecutive Coppa Italia titles, and four Supercoppa Italiana titles.

He has been awarded the Serie A Defender of the Year three times: in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and currently has a total of 105 caps, making him Italy's seventh-highest appearance holder.

Although his body and injuries had let him down a little bit these years, he is listed as one of

the best over 35 footballers still active

since he managed to use his physicality and supreme reading of the game to gobble up opposition strikers and ensure that his 18-yard-box has remained a largely danger-free zone.

Luka Modric

  • Date of Birth

    : 9 September 1985, 35 years

  • Current Club

    : Real Madrid

Luka Modric is a Croatian professional footballer who plays for Real Madrid and captains the Croatia national team in the position of midfielder.

He is immensely popular for being one of the best midfielders of his generation, and the greatest Croatian footballer of all time.

He started his career in Dinamo Zagreb and played in clubs like Zrinjski Mostar, Inter Zaprezic, Dinamo Zagreb, and


before joining Real Madrid in 2012.

From becoming the first Croatian player to win the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award In 2018, to winning The Best FIFA Men's Player and Ballon d'Or awards, he came to be the first player other than

Lionel Messi

or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the awards in more than a decade and there is not much Luka Modric has not done in the game, hence you would not agree more with us to consider him utterly deserved to be enlisted among the best over 35 footballers still active.

Even in 2019, he was awarded the Golden Foot award for career results and personality. Despite turning 35 in September, Luka Modrić continues to be an indispensable part of Real Madrid's first team.

Therefore he is considered as one of

the best over 35 players in world football

in as much as he is still so mastered in dictating games and popping up with a crucial goal or assist at vital moments.

Frank Ribery

  • Date of Birth

    : 7 April 1983, 38 years

Current Club



Franck Ribéry plays for ACF Fiorentina in Serie A in Italy in the position of a left-winger. He also represented the French national team between the years 2006 and 2014. 

He started his career in the club Conti Boulogne. After that, he played for clubs


, US Boulogne, Alès and Brest, FC Metz, Galatasaray, where he won the Turkish Cup, and a few months later joined Marseille and eventually got to Bayern Munich In 2007 before joining his current club.

In 2013, Ribéry was ranked as the third-best footballer in Europe by Bloomberg and won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. Franck Ribery was one of the deadliest wingers in the world and although at age of 38, he has not been able to play with the same intensity as in previous seasons, there have been still glimpses of his attacking base.

Few footballers possess Ribery’s gifts with the ball at his feet, after all on his day, no-one can get even near him and he is still showing his class in Bavaria, being ranked as one of

the best 35 players in world football


Thiago Silva

  • Date of Birth

    : 22 September 1984, 36 years

Current Club



Thiago Silva is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Chelsea and captains the Brazil national team in the position of central defender.

Thiago Silva is every inch the complete modern defender with his great technical skill, ease on the ball, grace in the air, fast-thinking, tactical savvy and a box-to-box modus operandi, therefore regarded as one of the best central defenders of his generation.

He started his career in RS Futebol, and participated in clubs like Juventude, FC Porto, Dynamo Moscow, Fluminense, AC Milan and Paris SG, before joining Chelsea in 2020.

Among his achievements it suffices to mention that just with PSG, he has won a joint-record seven Ligue 1 championships, five consecutive (six overall) Coupes de la Ligue and five Coupes de France and led his team to their first-ever UEFA Champions League final in 2020.

Being considered as one of the best over 35 players in world football, it seems that growing older is not the matter of his concern, and not only can he still perform to a high level, but his experience and influence help make his team-mates better as well.


  • Date of Birth

    : 21 July 1981, 39 years

Current Club


Real Betis

Joaquin is a Spanish footballer who captains the Spanish First Division club of Real Betis Balompié in the position of midfielder. He represented the Spanish national team over than 50 times featuring in two World Cups and one European Championship.

He started his career in Real Betis Balompié and then played for the clubs like Valencia CF, Malaga CF, ACF Fiorentina before joining Real Betis Balompié in 2015.

He is regarded as the second player with the most games (573) who has ever played in the history of the Spanish league championship. In the meantime, he was appointed to Son of Andalusia in February 2020.

Considering him as the oldest and arguably the best over 35 players in world football, it is crystal clear that despite being at the ripe age of 39, he continues to enhance his legend with some stalwart performances just with the difference of becoming more of a technical and cerebral player in the passage of time while in his heyday he possessed vicious pace and pretty terrifying acceleration.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

  • Date of Birth

    : 3 October 1981, 39 years

Current Club


AC Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish professional footballer who plays in the position of striker for Serie A club Milan. His illustrious career has seen him play at Malmö FF, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Barcelona, PSG, Manchester United and LA Galaxy before he finally joined Milan in 2020.

Likewise, he represented Sweden at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, along with 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 UEFA European Championships. Ibrahimovic is one of the greatest strikers of his generation and is widely adored as one of the best strikers of all time.

He is one of the most decorated active players in the world, having awarded 31 trophies in his career. As one of the best over 35 in world football, he has been proving for some time now that nothing is impossible and that age is just a number, and it seems that he is not going to retire any day soon.

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Date of Birth

    : 5 February 1985, 36 years

  • Current Club

    : Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team.

He started his career playing for

Sporting CP

and then signed with clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid before joining Juventus in 2018. Many consider him as the best player in the world and he Is also immensely popular as one of the greatest players of all time.

Although his achievements would certainly defy any sort of description, just to give an overview that he has won five Ballon d'Or awards, and four European Golden Shoes. He has achieved 31 major trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League title.

Having him as an absolute legend in the list of

the best over 35 players in world football

, he is adapting his game with each passing year to maximise his potential on the football field and is playing with the same vigour as a 20-year-old does.

But some argues that the Juventus star will hang up his boots in the near future as his legs will start to feel heavier and his performances will slowly begin to dip. Yet his name unquestionably has a special rank in the list of the best over 35 football players in the world.


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source: SportMob

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