Picking the best XI of players aged 35 or over still playing in Europe

Joaquin, Buffon & Van Persie

For most footballers, hitting the mid 30's is usually when your career is nearing its end.

It is said that most players will hit their peak years around the ages of 27 and 28, although, Cristiano Ronaldo is still at his devastating best at the ripe old age of 34.

Lionel Messi is also playing some of the best football of his career with Barcelona at 31 this season, notching 29 goals in all competitions.

Sometimes age is just a number - even in football - and with that in mind, we have decided to pick what we believe is the best starting XI of players in Europe aged 35 or over.

It wasn't easy, but there are still some quality old timers strutting their stuff across the continent.

Golden oldies XI


The ultimate golden oldie. At the age of 41, the Italian stalwart is still turning in world-class performances in Ligue 1.

Alphonse Areola is struggling to to be picked ahead of him consistently and Buffon certainly has a few more years left in the tank.


Alves in training

The Parisian side certainly like bringing in proven quality. Alves has been an astute signing, with his debut season for PSG only slightly blighted by injury.

In 2018/19, he's shown his versatility and worth to Thomas Tuchel's side by playing as a central midfielder and as a forward. Not bad for a 35-year-old.


Fellow Portuguese defender Pepe (35) was a candidate for this role, but we've decided to hand it to 37-year-old Alves after his brilliant campaign in Serie A with newly-promoted Parma.

Alves with Parma

The former Rangers defender has made 22 league appearances and has been one of the cornerstones behind Parma currently residing in 12th-place. 


Ligue 1 certainly seems to attract the golden oldies, with the 41-year-old Brazilian centre-back still performing for the league's fourth-placed side.

Hilton has made 21 appearances in the French top-flight in 2018/19, but his contract with Montpellier is up in June.

Hilton in action


Left-back was easily the most difficult position on the list, so 36-year-old Pasqual - who's also played 14 times for Italy - makes the cut.

He's made 14 appearances in Serie A this season, scoring one goal and recording two assists for Empoli, which certainly isn't a bad return at all.


Joaquin in action

Still a regular with Betis at 37, the Spanish winger is showing no signs of looking towards the retirement door.

Joaquin's started moving more towards the centre of the pitch in his latter years, but has still shown his prowess on the wing at times under Quique Setien.


A true one-club man and it's a simple fact that Roma are still a far better team with their 35-year-old captain in the middle of the park.

De Rossi

He was the club's best player on the park in the recent 1-1 draw with AC Milan and like Francesco Totti, De Rossi looks set to continue until at least his very late 30's in the Italian capital.


Besiktas' Canadian custodian is still going strong at 36, amassing over 150 appearances in his six years at the club, while playing 14 times in the Turkish Super Lig this season.

Hutchinson is still on the international scene as well and will certainly go down as one of Canada's greatest exports to the European leagues.



Few foreign players have ever been better in the colours of Bayern Munich than Ribery and he's still having a valuable input in 2018/19.

He's scored four times in 15 Bundesliga appearances, but the Frenchman knows his time at the club is drawing to a close - Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry are waiting to take over.



The Italians seem to age like a fine wine, with Sampdoria's 36-year-old goal machine the fourth player from the country to feature.

And to put it simply, few players in the history of football have performed as well at 36 as Quagliarella has in 2018/19. He's got 16 goals and six assists in 22 games and only Ronaldo has been involved in more goals to his name in Italy.


The Dutch legend will retire from the game at the end of 2018/19, but that hasn't stopped him from enjoying a wonderful final season in Rotterdam at the age of 35.

Van Persie in action

Van Persie has 11 goals in 17 Eredivisie games, including a brilliant brace in the 6-2 victory over bitter rivals Ajax.

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