Will we ever see a player playing at 45 in top level European football?

Web of Bissaka

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We will, now just need a player to actually reach it.

1. Player's mentality (inc. motivation) is the strongest driving force.
2. Backed by the ever improving sports science (medical, health, nutrition etc).
3. Advantage of good career choice (leagues, clubs, etc).
4. Plus a little bit of luck with injury concerns mainly. Good personal fitness management and training program is equally important.

Good number of players are close already over the years, so just need a bit more years for someone to reach the record.
 

Luke1995

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Depends on how long football will turn a blind eye to PED's. Maybe a 45 year old still playing will be the breaking point.


He was also on PEDs trying to become the all-time goalscorer. We've got a cnut like that trying to snatch the Icelandic record by playing in the lowest division.

Note, the all-time goal record is held by Josef Biscan who retired at the age of 42.
PED's are much more common in MMA and Boxing than in football.
 

Physiocrat

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Does anyone know how old Paolo Maldini was when he retired? IIRC it was somewhere close to 38
 
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Ronaldo? Could easily see him goal hanging in the MLS in ten years time.

Giggs got to 40 & could have easily continued physically. Had he dropped down a few leagues or gone to America/China/Middle East he could have made it to 45 I think.
 

kouroux

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You'll need a player with exceptional physical attributes who isn't reliant on their physical advantages to perform.

I think Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could do it. You can see how Cristiano's instincts in the penalty box and finishing ability are almost timeless. He's coming from a physical ceiling beyond almost all of his opponents. And while that will be levelled off over the next few years, it's likely he'll still be in better shape than a lot of forwards and some defenders. Despite the drop-off, it is possible to be sufficiently athletic into one's 40s. For example, elite track and field athletes who still compete into their 40s will often be quicker or springier than many of today's more athletic footballers. Feasibly he could still be scoring goals in a top league in a few years' time. It's more a question of motivation and ego - in effect would he be satisfied slugging away at a lower table club for 10 goals a season? That's some fall in status for a man used to the kudos of being a top 3 player in the world for the last 15 years.
You would also need this player to have a flawless lifestyle outside the football. No alcohol, no fast food, every calorie counted, specific sleeping hours, special recovery methods (cryotherapy, yoga etc etc etc...). It would require a crazy level of professionalism for a long time
 
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You would also need this player to have a flawless lifestyle outside the football. No alcohol, no fast food, every calorie counted, specific sleeping hours, special recovery methods (cryotherapy, yoga etc etc etc...). It would require a crazy level of professionalism for a long time
And an incredible amount of luck with injuries.

You can be the most professional player there has been, but if you are unkindly with injuries your body just won’t last that long.

Probably need to be a bit of a late starter as well, too many games as a teenager limits longevity.
 

Luke1995

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Most popular sport in the world that relies on endurance and explosive sprints yet no one gets caught doing PEDs. Go figure.
By that logic, all the sprinters like Bolt, Gatlin, Asafa Powell, Blake all of them, must be on something...
 

Snow

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By that logic, all the sprinters like Bolt, Gatlin, Asafa Powell, Blake all of them, must be on something...
No, that's not the same logic at all. A lot of Olympic sprinters have had medals revoked years after they won it because they tested positive for steroids and various PEDs. You don't find it suspicious that drug tests aren't catching a damn thing yet the game is played at more intensity than ever yet it's not affecting injuries?
 

Luke1995

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No, that's not the same logic at all. A lot of Olympic sprinters have had medals revoked years after they won it because they tested positive for steroids and various PEDs. You don't find it suspicious that drug tests aren't catching a damn thing yet the game is played at more intensity than ever yet it's not affecting injuries?
Well, when you put it like that...

It really is very weird.
 

::sonny::

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There's a Japanese player but i can't remember his name who is still playing currently in the professional Japanese league at the age of 53, if that counts

Right i just saw you mention European football in the thread title but i'll post it anyway
Kazu Miura