Best Active Footballers Over 35

  • More and more footballers stay active after the age of 35
  • Some of them are still in top form and play in the best clubs
  • Ibrahimovic leads Milan at the age of 39, Ronaldo is still one of the bests at 35
best active footballers over 35

We can find several top footballers who are over 35 at the moment. Looks like football players can extend their careers and stay fit in a higher age as well. Just think about Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is 39 and still in top form like the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. They both belong to the best active footballers over 35, let’s see the others in our list. 

While a few years ago we can hardly find any active football players after reaching 35, these days there is one in almost every team. Thanks to new training systems, special dietary and vitamins, some players are just as fit over 30 as before. While top players seem to perform on the same level as well, and we are not talking about only goalkeepers any more. But also strikers, midfielders and defenders who fulfill their role 100% percent. So let’s see our list of the best of them. 

Best active footballers over 35

7. Joaquin

The oldest footballer in Spain, 39-year old Joaquin is still going strong in Real Betis. He is of course the captain of the team which he rejoined in 2015 after starting his career there. The 38-year-old Joaquin scored a hat-trick last year in a La Liga game against Athletic Bilbao, and became the oldest player to do so. He broke the record of Alfredo di Stefano who achieved the same feat at the age of 37. He scored 10 goals in total last season, and extended his contract until 2021. 

6. Giorgio Chiellini

best active footballers over 35
Giorgio Chiellini – PUMA, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most emblematic Italian players of recent times, Giorgio Chiellini is still a key member of both Juventus and the Italian team. Unless he is injured which has happened a few times recently. But when he is playing he is still one of the best defenders. He can read the game perfectly and use his physical power to clear the ball. He became the captain of Juventus in 2018 after Buffon left the club. Chiellini has 514 appearances at the club so far with 9 Seria A titles. Online sportsbooks in Italy mention Juventus again in the favorites to win the title. Even though Chiellini once retired from the national team, the 36-year-old centre-back returned in 2018 and became the captain of it as well. 

5. Luka Modric

The only Croatian Ballon d’Or winner, Luka Modric also belongs to the best active footballers over 35. Though he is one of the youngest, he just passed 35 this September. But he is definitely still a great player and plays regularly in Real Madrid and the Croatian team. He scored his 100th goal this January against Valencia in the Spanish Cup. And Modric is still scoring goals, like one against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Or his first goal in an El Clasico this October. In spite of missing Croatia’s Nations League games we will surely see him back in the team in next year’s Euro2020. 

4. Franck Ribery

The great French player, Franck Ribery left Bayern Munich last year, but he hasn’t retired, just joined Fiorentina at the age of 36. He scored three goals in 21 appearances last season and keeps playing for the club now. And even though he is not as fast as before, he can still show his dribbling skills and lead his team to victory. Of course, Ribery had his best period at Bayern playing along Arjen Robben, who is also still active. The two of them made a fantastic pair, just like Lewandowski and Muller do now. Ribery retired from the national team in 2014 after he had to miss the World Cup due to injuries. 

3. Thiago Silva

best active footballers over 35
Thiago Silva – Granada, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We have another great defender in the list, current Chelsea player Thiago Silva. The Brazilian joined the Blues this summer, after his former club, Paris Saint-Germain didn’t need him anymore. Which might have been a big mistake, as Silva is still in great form at the age of 36. He helped to stabilize the defense of his new team like he did in his previous clubs, Milan and PSG. Silva is almost unbeatable in the air but also great in reading the attackers’ movements. The Brazilian centre-back is also a member of the national team, where he plays regularly, featuring 12 games last year. 

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Looks like Zlatan Ibrahimovic has managed to stop the time. As at the age of 39 he plays at the same level as 10 years ago. He rejoined Milan this January and already scored 22 goals in 30 appearances. In the previous years he also played for Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, Milan, PSG, Manchester United and LA Galaxy, performing superbly at most of his clubs. He could even return to a top club after playing in the US which most footballers use as their last stop in their careers. And Zlatan is still unstoppable and a big asset for his team which currently leads the Serie A. Online gambling sites in Italy offer the odds of 5.00 for AC Milan’s title. Ibrahimovic retired from international football in 2016, but many fans would be very happy to see him back in the Swedish team too. 

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Who else could lead the list of the best active footballers over 35 as the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner. One of the best football players of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo. He is 35, but he hasn’t aged a bit. He is in perfect physical shape and has the same winning mentality as before. The Portuguese star scored 31 goals in 33 Serie A appearances last season for Juventus, winning the title for the second time with the team.

He broke several records like scoring in 11 consecutive Serie A games. Or becoming the second player to score hat-tricks in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A. Ronaldo also achieved huge successes with the Portuguese team after winning the European Championship in 2016. Of course he is the captain of the team and will lead it in the 2020 Euros as well. And hopefully Ronaldo won’t retire any time soon so we can still see him playing for several years. 

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