There are quite a handful of footballers who played into their 40s during their career – even a couple of them are still playing to date.
Let’s now have a look at the footballers who played into their 40s.
Footballers Who Played Into Their 40s
Best known for his trademark goal celebration of dancing in front of the corner flag, the Cameroon icon will forever be in the World Cup record books for being the oldest goalscorer in tournament history.
Milla netted against Russia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup at the age of 42.
That goal, which came after he ended his retirement, helped him be named in Pele’s list of the 100 greatest living players back in 2004.
Though he is 39-year-old now, he earned a contract extension with Serie A giants AC Milan which will see him remain in the club next season.
Ibrahimovic has shown no signs of slowing down with 81 goals across his last 113 club appearances.
Paolo Maldini was the finest defender of his generation playing only for AC Milan and Italy during his 25-year professional career – making his debut at the age of 16 and playing until he was past 40.
The seven-time Serie A winning defender played right up until just before his 41st birthday, making 32 appearances during the 2008/09 season before his number 3 shirt was retired by the club.
Premier League veteran Giggs turned 40 back in November of 2013 – and was named as interim boss for Manchester United after announcing that his playing days were coming to an end.
The current Wales boss made 10 appearances after that birthday and brought himself on as a substitute for a final appearance against Hull before the arrival of Louis van Gaal as boss.
The former Manchester United forward made his debut in the old Third Division back in 1984 – and went on to play regularly until 2008 as he approached his 43rd birthday.
At age 40 years and 268 days, he broke the record for an oldest outfield player to score in the Premier League with a strike against Manchester City.
The 143 cap Argentina defender made 858 appearances for the club after leaving Banfield in his native Argentina way back in 1995.
Zanetti was a part of the Inter squad for 19 seasons, winning five league titles, eight domestic cups and the Champions League in 2010.
Inter Milan hero Javier Zanetti made 13 appearances after his 40th birthday and is an icon of Italian football.
The former Italy forward might not have won nearly as many trophies as those former Serie A opponents, but he will forever be recognised as an icon in Roma history.
Francesco Totti managed 307 goals for the club across his 25 seasons, lifting the league title only once alongside four domestic cups and the World Cup with his country.
Having turned 40 at the beginning of the 2016/17 season, he retired the following summer.
Sir Stanley Matthews
Sir Stanley Matthews played for Stoke up to his 50th birthday.
That spell came after time a long period with the Potters between 1932 and 1947, where he returned after time with Blackpool and Toronto.
The famous “Matthews Final” of the FA Cup actually came in 1953 at the age of 38, during which he helped the Tangerines to a 4-3 win over Bolton.
This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago