Professionalism, willpower, hard work and love for the noble sport that is soccer in the particular cases of these players and masters of the game surpasses the negative effects of the advancing age on their body and soul.
Here is the list of Top 10 oldest professional soccer players in the world:
10. Claudio Pizaro; 38 years 7 months old
The ‘Andes Bomber’, started his career in the small Deportivo Pesquero in Peru and moved to Alianza Lima. At Alianza, he helped the club make a title challenge but ultimately fell short. Two good seasons put the spotlight on him and soon Pizzaro was sold to German side Werder Bremen. It was at Werder where his career skyrocketed, and in two seasons he scored 29 goals sharing the third place on the goalscorers list in 2000/01.
He moved to Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich, playing in 596 matches and scoring 268 goals total, also having a brief season in Chelsea before returning to Bayern and winning the Champions League in the 2012/13 season. Pizzaro saved Werder from relegation during the 2015/16 season. Pizarro is the highest-scoring foreigner in Bundesliga history with 191 goals, oldest player to score a hat-trick, and it’s fifth all-time scorer, as well as top scorer in Werder history. Pizzaro has won 18 club trophies; 16 with Bayern Munich, and two with Werder.
9. Ricardo Carvalho; 38 years 11 months 29 days
Ricardo Carvalho spent most of his career under the leadership and coaching of Jose Mourinho. He started his career in Porto and was part of the famous Porto squad which won the UEFA Champions League in 2003/04 season as complete outsiders. After excellent performances in the 2003/04 season and in the Euro 2004. as part of the Portugal squad, he moved to English Premier League Chelsea.
With John Terry, he formed the backbone of the Premiership winning Chelsea defence in 2004/05 season. Carvalho played six seasons at Chelsea, three seasons at Real Madrid and AS Monaco in France. He is known as one of the most distinctive centre-backs of the last decade, famous for his tenacity and intelligence on the pitch. He was named UEFA Club Best Defender in 2004, won 15 club trophies and UEFA European Championship in 2016 with Portugal international squad.
Currently, Carvalho is playing for the Chinese club Shanghai SIPG.
8. Hilton; 39 years 8 months
Brazilian centre-back Hilton has played in French Ligue 1 for the most of his career. Starting in the provincial clubs Chapacoense and Paraná in his native Brazil, early on he moved to European soccer by joining Swiss club Servette. Games in Servette recommended him to French side Bastia which he joined on loan and afterwards to the RC Lens. In Lens, he won the Intertoto Cup in 2005. and 2007.
Lens was relegated in 2008. so he moved to Olympique de Marseille winning the Ligue 1 during 2009/10 season. He stayed at Marseille for 3 seasons. Despite being important in Marseille defence, the centre-back left the club in August 2011. due to an incident unrelated to soccer. He joined Montpellier HSC and proceeded to win La Ligue again in 2011/12 season. Brazilian was included in Ligue 1 Team of the Year on four occasions and is currently still playing for Montpellier HSC.
7. Morgan de Sanctis; 40 years 1 month
Morgan de Sanctis is a veteran goalkeeper who plays for French club AS Monaco. During his lengthy career, he played for the most part for Italian Serie A clubs, starting at the small Pescara in 1994.
He then proceeded to Juventus, but for three seasons played only three matches. De Sanctis is mostly known for his stay at Udinese where he was a top quality goalkeeper and played for the club for eight seasons. In 2009. De Sanctis joined Napoli and after four years as Napoli top-choice goalkeeper, he moved to title-contenders AS Roma gathering 71 appearances for the club. In 2016. De Sanctis joined AS Monaco as a third-choice goalkeeper.
He won two club trophies: Turkish Super Cup in 2008. and the Italian Cup with Napoli in 2012. With Roma and Napoli he also managed to finish in second place of the Italian Serie A three times. Of individual honours, he won the Italian Silver ball, an award given for fair-play in 2009.
6. Marco Storari; 40 years 4 months
Marco Storari is yet another soccer veteran coming from Italy. During his rich career, he played almost exclusively for Italian clubs, with only one season in Spanish club Levante.
His career started in low-tier Ancona, where he attracted the attention of Napoli, but didn’t manage to break into the first team, moving to Messina where his steady play recommended him to top Italian club AC Milan. At Milan, he had a tough competition for the goalkeeper spot in the face of Christian Abbiati and Brazilian international Dida and was loaned to Levante, Cagliari, Sampdoria and Fiorentina. In 2010. he moved to Juventus as a backup for Gianluigi Buffon. After five seasons and 43 matches, he again moved to Cagliari to gather 56 appearances despite his advancing years. Currently, he is playing for AC Milan, as a third choice goalkeeper.
He won the Italian Serie A on four occasions with Juventus and managed to finish the 2014-2015 seasons as a runner up in the UEFA Champions League.
5. Francesco Totti; 40 years 7 months
‘’The King of Rome’’, the legendary Italian player spent his entire career at AS Roma. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all-time, and the greatest ever Roma player.
His professional career started in 1992. In AS Roma youth program, and during his 25 seasons at Olimpico, he appeared for the club in 784 matches and scored 307 goals.
He has gathered world renown for his technique and finishing often creating goal opportunities for his teammates as well as scoring spectacular goals. Well-known for his trademark backheel passes and chipped shots, he gathered a wide following around the world. With Roma, he won the Serie A in 2000/01 leading a squad of soccer legends such as Gabriel Batistuta and Cafu. Totti won the Italian Cup two times and as well as the Super Cup. With Italy, he won the World Cup in 2006.
His personal achievements and honours present an incredibly long list, but let’s name just a few:
Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year, five times. He won the Golden Boot in 2007. and was named on the FIFA 100 list as one of the greatest living soccer players.
4. Shay Given; 41 years 1 month
Another veteran goalkeeper from Ireland and a member of the FIFA Century Club for players who have gathered 100 international caps for their countries. He currently plays for Stoke City in the English Premier League. He played for a number of clubs in England and had a long run with Newcastle United where he was the first pick goalkeeper for twelve seasons.
His professional career started at Blackburn Rovers in 1994. But mostly he played on loans to Swindon and Sunderland before moving to Newcastle. Given was bought by Manchester City in 2009. playing for three seasons before moving to Aston Villa. He also played for Middlesbrough in the Championship.
Shay Given only managed to win three club trophies. F.A. Cup with Manchester City, Intertoto Cup with Newcastle United, and early in his career Football League First Division with Sunderland. On the international stage, he won the Nations Cup with Ireland in 2011.
3. Roberto Colombo; 41 years 8 months
Veteran keeper Italy’, Roberto Colombo currently plays for Cagliari FC in the Italian Serie A. He began his professional career in AC Milan in Serie A and has played for Valdagno, Fiorenzuola, Solbiatese, Monza, San Marino (club) and Padova in the lower Italian leagues. His performances at Padova and San Marino gained him prominence to move back to the Serie A by joining Bologna, and after Bologna, Triestina, Napoli and Cagliari.
Most of the time, he was a second or third choice goalkeeper even though he proved to have the quality to play high profile matches in the Italian Serie A. He won the Italian Cup with Napoli on two occasions and is a one-time Italian Super Cup winner with the same club. He is a third-choice goalkeeper for Cagliari.
2. Ze Roberto; 42 years 10 months
The winger began in the Brazilian team Portuguesa before moving to the Spanish giant Real Madrid. He didn’t manage to achieve the status of a first-team regular at Real Madrid but still managed to perform fifteen times, winning the Spanish league and the UEFA Champions League in 1997/98 season.
He moved back to Brazil, to Flamengo for one season, before moving back to Europe, joining Bayer Leverkusen in 1998. Great games at Bayer catapulted him to fame, and after 113 appearances, he moved to their bitter rival Bayern Munich. At Bayern he continued to shine, winning the Bundesliga and the German cup six times. Even though he moved to Brazilian Santos in 2006/07 season, he returned to Bayern for two more seasons before moving to another German club, Hamburger. He also played for Qatari Al-Gharafa and Brazilian Gremio.
Now playing for Palmeiras in Brazil.
1.Kazuyoshi Miura; 50 years 2 months
Nicknamed ‘’King Kazu’’, Miura is without a doubt, the oldest active professional player in the world. Playing for Yokohama since 2005. as a striker. His career began in Japanese JDT in 1986. In Japan, he played for Verdy Kawasaki, Kyoto Purple Sanga, and Vissel Kobe. He also played in Brazil for Palmeiras, Matsubara, CRB, XV de Jau, Coritiba, Santos and in Europe for Genoa, Croatian Dinamo Zagreb and Australian Sydney FC.
He managed to perform at the top international level for the national team of Japan in 89 matches scoring incredible 55 goals. Miura led the Japan to their first FIFA World Cup in 1998. by scoring fourteen times during the qualification.
Miura was named the Asian Player of the Year in 1993. and finished his international career by holding the second-most career goals in the national team’s history.
Mark Schwarzer finished his professional career at the age of 42 in Leicester City. He was the second-choice goalkeeper behind then injured Kasper Schmeichel. Appearing six times during Leicester’s miraculous Premiership-winning season in 2015/16 season. Schwarzer also played for Marconi Stallions, Dynamo Dresden, Kaiserslautern, Bradford City, Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and finally Leicester City, where he retired in 2016.
He is best known for his performances at Middlesbrough and Fulham, as well as with the Australian national squad for which he played in 109 matches.
The legendary Brazilian striker, retired at the age of 42, and according to FIFA records, officially scoring 927 goals. He played for fifteen clubs but gained worldwide fame during his stay at Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven. At PSV he scored 96 goals in 107 appearances for the club.
With the Brazilian national team, he won the FIFA World Cup in 1994, ultimately gathering 70 appearances and scoring 55 goals making him the third-highest goalscorer for the national team only behind Pele and Ronaldo.