Best old footballers who played past 40


Forget Firmino and his mega-money move to Liverpool, the biggest story in Brazilian football is the news that Rivaldo is making a comeback – at the tender age of 43.

The former Barcelona and AC Milan star plans to start training again to help Mogi Mirim climb away from the bottom of the Brazilian second division.

Rivaldo, who helped inspire Brazil to the 2002 World Cup, retired in 2014 but says he hopes his experience will help the team “through a difficult time”.

He won’t be the first senior star to continue to grace the pitch even after the grey hairs have started creeping in. Here’s a few more of our favourite golden oldies.

1: Dave Beasant    Dave Beasant

The goalkeeper is best remembered for his FA Cup final heroics, when he saved a penalty to give Wimbledon victory over Liverpool in 1988. But, some 27 years and 773 league appearances later, he was still at it. At the age of 56, Beasant was named as a substitute for League Two side Stevenage.

2: Teddy Sheringham

Teddy Sheringham

Sticking with Stevenage, next up is their manager. He’s 49 now but was playing in the Premier League only eight years ago. The thinking man’s striker, Sheringham was never the most mobile but used his brain to make him one of England’s finest forwards in his pomp, during spells with Tottenham and Manchester United. He was still playing in the top flight aged 41 when he pulled on a West Ham shirt in 2006.

3: Andy Legg


Remember Andy Legg? He was wanging throw-ins into the six-yard box before Rory Delap could even tie his boot laces. Legg made his debut with Swansea in 1988 and, after spells with Birmingham, Ipswich and Notts County, he was still playing at the age of 42 with Welsh club Llanelli.

4: Kazuyoshi Miura

Kazuyoshi Miura

King Kazu earned 89 caps for Japan but his career began with Santos in Brazil in 1986 when he was 15. The striker has spells with Genoa and Dinamo Zagreb but enjoyed his best years with Yokohama in Japan. He was still playing last season – aged 48 – and became the oldest person to score in the J-League in a 3-2 defeat by Jubilo Iwata in April.

5: Stanley Matthews

Stanley Matthews

The legendary winger, or outside right as he would prefer, played for two teams – Blackpool and Stoke – but it was so long ago he always wore black and white. Often regarded as one of England’s greatest ever footballers, he began his career with the Potters in 1932 and was still playing in the top flight in 1965 – aged 50. He was 42 years old when he won the last of his England caps and even featured in a veterans’ match for his country, aged 70.


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