We all know that football is a very demanding sport for the athlete’s body.
That thanks to advances in nutrition, diet and training, players are retiring at a later age is also common knowledge. However, there was a player who retired at 50 years of professional life is not so well known.nowadays it is possible to see more and more professional players working with 38, 39 or even 40 years and, although it may draw attention, we are no longer surprised. In La Liga we have as an example Joaquin in the Betis with almost 40 years old, Jorge Molina of Granada F.C. with 39 years old, or Nino of Elche playing today with 40 springs.
On the international scene we can highlight players like Zlatan Ibrahímovíc, who at the age of 40 has just been called up again to represent Sweden at the next European Championship.
We can also see more recent cases of retired players with similar ages. Such as Paolo Maldini, Del Piero, Edgar Davids, Ryan Giggs who hung up their boots at the age of 40, or the case of Roberto Carlos, who retired at the age of 42. However, the absolute record for longevity goes to Stanley Matthews, born in 1915, who spent 19 years at Stoke City and 14 years at Blackpool.
But Stanley was no second fiddle. During his professional career he was twice champion of the Championship (English Second Division), winner of the inaugural 1956 Ballon d’Or, European Player of the Year and winner of the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award. The right winger was nicknamed “The Dribbling Wizard” or simply “The Magician”. In addition to these successes he was knighted by the Queen while he was still active and holds the record for being the oldest player to represent England (42 years and 104 days). Lord Matthews finally retired at the age of 50 years and 5 days and to this day no one has been able to match this mark but I am sure that more than one would sign to continue seeing Messi or Cristiano playing at that age.