Discover the 5 Football Players with the Longest Careers
Earlier this year, everyone was shocked to learn that a Japanese soccer player was still playing soccer at the age of 52!
Not only that, but he was still playing in the top division in Japan. But he’s not the only soccer player to play beyond the age of 40.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the soccer players with the longest careers.
1. Kazuyoshi Miura
Born in 1967, this Japanese player still plays as a striker for Yokohama F.C. at 53 years old. He trained in Brazil and played for several teams there, including Santos and Palmeiras. He only returned to Japan in 1990, where he spent four years at Verdy Kawasaki.
In 1994, Kazuyoshi Miura was signed on loan by Genoa in Italy before returning to play for Verdy Kawasaki until 1998. He then had brief stints in Croatia and Australia, as well as playing for a number of other Japanese clubs. He’s been a striker for Yokohama since 2006.
2. Roger Milla
Roger Milla was a striker from Cameroon and mainly played in France and his native country. He also played for the Cameroon national team and participated in three World Cups (1982, 1990, and 1994) and the 1984 Olympic Games.
When he retired in 1996 from Bali United in Indonesia, he was 44 years old and held the record for being the oldest player to score a goal in the World Cup finals (USA 1994). During his entire career, he scored 405 goals in 712 games.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan is a journeyman. He started his career at Ajax before playing in Turin for Juventus and later for Inter Milan. He joined Barcelona, and then he joined AC Milan. He joined Manchester United, a Premier League contender in England. He then played for the LA Galaxy before returning to San Siro to help AC Milan win the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years.
Zlatan is 41 years old, and he has won 34 trophies, including the Dutch League, Dutch Cup, John Cyruff Trophy, Serie A seven times, the Spanish League, Cup, Europa League, and countless other accolades. However, he failed to win two trophies: the Champions League and the World Cup. Zlatan doesn't appear to be ready to hang up his boots anytime soon.
4. Faryd Mondragon
Another soccer player with one of the longest careers was goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. Born in Cali, Colombia, "el Turco" began his career in 1990 at Deportivo Cali.
Faryd Mondragon played for several teams, including Argentinos Juniors, Independiente, Real Zaragoza in Spain, Galatasaray in Turkey, and the Philadelphia Union. In 2014, he retired from the same club where he made his debut, Deportivo Cali, at 43 years old.
He played a total of 55 games for the Colombian national team, playing in three world cups between 1993 and 2014. In his last game, he only played for a few minutes to become the oldest player to play in a World Cup. This record was broken by El-Hadary in Russia in 2018.
5. Essam El-Hadary
Born in Egypt in 1973, El-Hadary played as a goalkeeper and made his debut in 1993 for the Egyptian team Damietta Club. He also played for Al-Ahly and seven other Egyptian teams. Outside of Egypt, he played for Sion in Switzerland and A-Taawoun in Saudi Arabia.
El-Hadary ended his career with the Egyptian team, Nogoom, in 2019, at the age of 46. Over the course of his career, he won nine leagues, four Egyptian Cups, and three Egyptian Super Cups. Between 2002 and 2017, he also represented his country in four Africa Cup of Nations.