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Top 10 oldest football players: Defying age in the beautiful game

Football is a popular game, but at a certain age, not everyone needs to maintain high intensity. Some athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo still maintain their form in middle age, but most slow down after 35. However, there are some exceptions, with players still excelling at the age of 40 and above. So, who is the oldest football player of all time? Let’s find out about the oldest football players through the following article with bestsoccertips!

The Oldest Football Players of All Time

10. Endō Yasuhito – 43 years old

We start our list with Endō Yasuhito, a legend in Japanese football, who began his passionate career in 1998 at the age of 18. Traditionally, his entire journey is deeply engraved with the mark of his nation. Endō is not only an icon of Gamba Osaka but also a symbol of perseverance and talent in the history of Japanese football.

Oldest football players: Endō Yasuhito
Oldest football players: Endō Yasuhito

With over 600 matches played for Gamba Osaka over more than 20 years, Endō is not just a player but also a living symbol of the club. On the field, he scored nearly 100 goals for Gamba Osaka, each goal leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of fans.

9. Shunsuke Nakamura – 44 years old

Another Japanese player, Shunsuke Nakamura retired at the age of 44 in 2022. Nakamura is one of the greatest Japanese players of all time, known for his incredible accuracy and ability to score amazing long-range goals. He played for Celtic in Scotland from 2005-2009, where he was beloved by fans.

Oldest soccer players: Shunsuke Nakamura
Oldest soccer players: Shunsuke Nakamura

Nakamura also played a crucial role for the Japanese national team, earning nearly 100 caps. He won the AFC Asian Cup in both 2000 and 2004 and is the only player to twice win the J League MVP award, first in 2000 and then again in 2013. Currently, he serves as a coach for Yokohama FC.

8. Vitorino Hilton – 44 years old

Vitorino Hilton is an undeniable icon in the world of football, with a career extending until 2022 when he retired at the age of 44. His journey in football began in 1999, when he played for Paraná Clube in Brazil before embarking on a new chapter in his career in France.

With exceptional talent and strength, Hilton quickly gained respect from colleagues and fans alike. He is renowned for his intelligent ball handling and remarkable defensive abilities. From 2011 to 2021, Hilton was associated with Montpellier, where he left a deep mark in the club’s history.

Top 10 oldest football players: Vitorino Hilton
Top 10 oldest football players: Vitorino Hilton

However, before bidding farewell to the pitch permanently, Hilton decided to embark on one final journey. He announced his comeback in an emotional moment and signed a 5-month contract with Sète. This marked his last step before hanging up his boots, creating a meaningful conclusion to a great career.

7. Gianluigi Buffon – 45 years old

Gianluigi Buffon, the legendary goalkeeper of Italian football, officially retired at the end of the previous season, concluding a distinguished artist’s journey spanning many years. He played for only three clubs throughout his career: Parma, Juventus, and Paris Saint Germain, but what’s important is the indelible mark he left on the hearts of fans at each club.

Before hanging up his gloves, Buffon decided to end his career as a goalkeeper for Parma, where he began his illustrious journey. But what people will always remember about Buffon is not just his association with clubs but also his impressive achievements in the colors of the Italian national team.

Oldest players in soccer: Gianluigi Buffon
Oldest players in soccer: Gianluigi Buffon

Buffon participated in every World Cup from 1998 to 2014, with his greatest highlight being Italy’s victory over France in a penalty shootout to win the 2006 World Cup, where Buffon conceded only two goals throughout the tournament. He also participated in every UEFA European Championship from 2004 to 2016, raising his total appearances for the Italian national team to an impressive 176, a testament to the loyalty and talent of a great goalkeeper.

6. John Burridge – 45 years old

John Burridge is an icon of English football, with a career spanning 28 years from 1969 to 1997. Throughout that time, he captured the hearts of fans with his exceptional goalkeeping abilities and unique outgoing personality.

Famous for his humor and love of practical jokes, Burridge was always the heart of the locker room. He regularly created humorous situations and practical jokes to keep the team spirit high. His dynamism and optimistic spirit made every team he was a part of more vibrant.

Oldest football players: John Burridge
Oldest football players: John Burridge

Even at the age of 45 when he hung up his gloves, Burridge never ceased his passion for football. After retiring, he transitioned into coaching and advising. In July 2019, he was signed as a goalkeeping advisor for the Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters. With his experience and youthful spirit, Burridge continues to contribute to the development of football, not only on the pitch but also in his role as a mentor and motivator for young talents.

5. Essam El-Hadary – 45 years old

Essam El-Hadary, born in January 1973, is an icon of Egyptian and African football, with a dazzling career spanning decades. He made football history in 2018, becoming the oldest player to feature in a World Cup match at the age of 45. His outstanding performance in the tournament made him a symbol of resilience and passionate dedication in the hearts of fans worldwide.

He played for numerous clubs in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, contributing significantly to the success of the teams he represented. Beyond being a star on the field, El-Hadary was also a leader in the locker room, providing encouragement and invaluable experience to his teammates.

Oldest soccer players: Essam El-Hadary
Oldest soccer players: Essam El-Hadary

After retiring from the field, El-Hadary remained involved in football as a goalkeeper coach for the Egyptian national team, the Egyptian U23 team, and ultimately the Syrian national team. His mission was not only to impart his knowledge and experience but also to nurture a generation of future goalkeepers for African football.

4. Paul Bastock – 47 years old

Paul Bastock is an icon of English football, with a vast career spanning across multiple clubs. He made a special mark in football history by participating in over 1000 professional matches, showcasing remarkable patience and unparalleled passion.

Top 10 oldest football players: Paul Bastock
Top 10 oldest football players: Paul Bastock

Though appearing in only one match since 2017 when Bastock was 47, technically, he still retained the agility and sharpness of a top goalkeeper. While a comeback at the age of 53 might be unlikely, Bastock’s passion and commitment to football never wavered, opening up possibilities for any future endeavors.

3. Stanley Matthews – 50 years old

Stanley Matthews, an English footballer, stepped onto the pitch on March 19, 1932, beginning a remarkable and unforgettable journey in the world of football. With his unique playing style and superior talent, Matthews quickly became one of the greatest players of all time, earning recognition and respect from fans and opponents alike.

Oldest players in soccer: Stanley Matthews
Oldest players in soccer: Stanley Matthews

Matthews’ greatest success came when he won the FA Cup with Stock City in 1953 and later with Blackpool. He captivated millions of hearts with his exquisite skills and incredible speed, coupled with relentless determination and fighting spirit.

Matthews is also known for winning the Ballon d’Or in 1956, a testament to the high regard for his talent. Additionally, he played a crucial role in the England national team with 54 appearances, contributing to new records and eras for English football. He retired at the age of 50.

2. Miura Kazuyoshi – 56 years old

Known as the “King Kazu,” Miura Kazuyoshi is the oldest active professional footballer. With a career spanning nearly 40 seasons, the Japanese forward has played in Brazil, Japan, Italy, Croatia, Australia, and now Portugal. He achieved international acclaim by winning the AFC Asian Cup in 1992 while playing for the Samurai Blue.

Oldest football players: Miura Kazuyoshi
Oldest football players: Miura Kazuyoshi

He continues to play regularly and has not announced any plans for early retirement. He has earned 89 caps and scored 55 goals for the Japanese national team and is currently on loan to Oliveirense, a Portuguese football club. His current loan spell will expire on June 30. Even at the age of 56, King Kazu is not yet old enough to participate in Japan’s newly launched tournament for players over 80.

1. Robert Carmona – 61 years old

Robert Carmona is a remarkable phenomenon in football, with remarkable perseverance and passion for the game he loves. At the age of 61, he continues to play competitively, astonishing and inspiring others.

Although he has never played at the international level, Robert Carmona has made a special mark in amateur tournaments in the United States, Canada, Spain, and Italy, with an incredible record of 2,200 official matches. His story is a testament to the power of will and unwavering spirit.

Oldest soccer players: Robert Carmona
Oldest soccer players: Robert Carmona

Despite undergoing eight surgeries due to injuries, that has never stopped Robert Carmona from stepping onto the field and playing the game he loves. Competing at over 60 years old remains an impressive achievement, showcasing his relentless patience and passion. With boundless passion and unmatched determination, Robert Carmona asserts that he has no intention of stopping his playing career early, opening a new chapter for his legendary story on the football field.


In a world where age often dictates the limits of physical prowess, the remarkable tales of Miura Kazuyoshi and Robert Carmona illuminate a different narrative. Their unwavering dedication and passion for football defy conventional expectations, showcasing the enduring power of the human spirit. Despite the passage of time, they continue to grace the football field with their presence, inspiring countless individuals along the way. Their stories serve as a poignant reminder that age is merely a number, and with perseverance, one can overcome any obstacle to pursue their dreams. In the realm of football, they stand as beacons of resilience, proving that passion knows no bounds and that the love for the beautiful game transcends the limitations of age.

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