Footballers used to peak between the ages of 25 and 30, but that is no longer the case. Footballers nowadays perform at a very high level for extended periods of time thanks to a renewed focus on dietary regimes and an overall improvement in training routines.
That’s why so many of the world’s finest footballers are in their 30s or approaching it.
Back in the day, goalkeepers and defenders were the only ones who could keep their form going well into their 30s. However, some of the game’s top forwards are now well into their 30s.
Without further ado, here are five of the top players over the age of 30 in the league this season.
- Kevin De Bruyne(Manchester City)
Kevin De Bruyne is without a doubt one of the best attacking midfielders of our time. Under Pep Guardiola, the Belgian international has undoubtedly been Manchester City’s most valuable player.
In and around the last third, he has a very decisive presence. Manchester City’s success this season has been largely down to the 30-year-old’s performances in all competitions.
De Bruyne has 14 goals and eight assists in 37 appearances for the Cityzens in all competitions so far this season.
Luka Modric is the only player to win the Ballon d’Or in the last 13 years who isn’t Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Modric won it in 2018, and fans assumed he was nearing the end of his career because he was 32 at the time.
He is already 36 years old, yet this season he has become one of the top midfielders in the world. Modric’s ball-progression skills, along with his tremendous passing range, make him a unique threat.
Modric has three goals and nine assists in 37 appearances for Real Madrid in all competitions so far this season.
- Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk is now regarded as the world’s top centre-back. He is a defensive Goliath for Liverpool, and he has been instrumental in reinforcing Anfield in recent seasons.
Consider this statistic: in 35 Premier League and Champions League appearances this season, Van Dijk has only been dribbled past three times. He’s such a calm presence at the back, never diving into a tackle and rarely making risky decisions.
- Robert Lewandowski(Bayern Munich)
Robert Lewandowski is perhaps his generation’s best striker. He’s been a world-class player for over a decade and continues to make scoring goals appear as simple as ABC.
So far this season, he has 47 goals and three assists in just 41 appearances for Bayern Munich in all competitions. With the exception of an unceremonious elimination from the Champions League quarter-finals against Villarreal, Lewandowski has had another fantastic season.
- Karim Benzema(Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema, the Real Madrid striker, has come up clutch so many times this season for his team that it’s inconceivable for them to go into a huge game without him. This season, the Frenchman has been in outstanding form for Real Madrid.
In the second leg of Real Madrid’s Champions League Round of 16 encounter against Paris Saint-Germain, Benzema scored a hat-trick in 17 minutes. With those three goals, they were able to complete an amazing comeback, knocking PSG out of the competition and qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Benzema didn’t stop there, scoring a hat-trick in the first leg of their quarter-final clash with Chelsea. He then went on to score the game-winning goal for Los Blancos in the return leg. Karim Benzema appears to be unstoppable in his current form.