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Ze Roberto : Life begins at 40

At age 40, most professionals who at one time played at the FIFA World Cup™ have since retired. After hanging up their boots, many would have embarked down the coaching route, some would have tried their hand at punditry, while others are simply happier to enjoy their well-earned retirement.

The same can’t be said for all, however, with a small number of remarkable World Cup veterans currently defying the ageing process by still playing professional football in their 40s. Let's takes a look at some of the extraordinary few who are showing that age is just a number.


Cup triumph at 41
Having amassed a plethora of titles and personal honours for club and country, 84-time Brazil international Ze Roberto is no stranger to extraordinary accomplishments. And last season, the former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star achieved another impressive feat: winning the 2015 Copa do Brasil with Palmeiras and being named in Brazil’s Campeonato Paulista team of the year at age 41.
After an illustrious career spanning 22 years, Ze Roberto announced his intention to retire at the end of the Brazilian season but his love of the game is far from diminished. “My motivation is the passion I have for playing football,” Ze Roberto, who played at France 1998 and Germany 2006.
three-time World Cup star Roberto Acuna still playing in the top-tier of his native Paraguay with Rubio Nu at 44. After reaching a century of international caps in 2011.
Like Acuna, Juan Carlos Valeron also featured at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and is himself defying the supposed age barrier by still playing into his 40s. The former La Roja midfielder is currently the oldest player plying his trade in Spain’s La Liga with hometown club Las Palmas.
goalkeeper traditionally has a longer career-span compared to outfield players, Dynamo Kyiv’s 41 year-old shot-stopper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy is showing no signs of letting up. A star at Germany 2006 – where he became the first keeper in the tournament’s history not to concede in a penalty shoot-out – Shovkovskiy amassed 92 caps for Ukraine, as well as claiming a staggering 14 league titles with Dynamo Kyiv.
Similar to Shovkovskiy, other 40-plus goalkeepers still playing today include Shay Given, Oscar Perez Rojas, Mark Schwarzer, Seigo Narazaki and Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi – all of whom featured at the World Cup.
While he never played at the World Cup, a special mention must go to Japan’s Kazuyoshi Miura, the country’s oldest player at 49. Having made his debut for Brazilian side Santos in 1986, the much-travelled frontman netted an incredible 14 goals on the road to France 1998
I'll continue to give everything I have,” the time-defying veteran said.

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