17 players we can’t believe are still going: Taylor, Chimbonda, Cureton…

Quick Reads

Former Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool players are among the footballers we can’t actually believe are still playing.

Former Brazil international Ze Roberto announced over the weekend he will play his final game as a professional footballer on Monday at the ripe old age of 43. To be quite honest, we assumed he’d retired ages ago.

Here are 17 other players who you might not realise are still going, proving that age is indeed just a number.

Eric Djemba-Djemba

Signed by Manchester United the same summer as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kleberson in a transfer window which can be described as a ‘mixed bag’, Djemba-Djemba is now onto the 13th club of his career in Swiss fifth-tier outfit FC Vallorbe-Ballaigues.

Shola Ameobi

A goalscorer in Notts County’s 2-1 victory over Colchester in League Two on Saturday, Ameobi’s greatest achievement remains convincing Tom Victor that Newcastle had the next Ronaldo on their hands.

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READ: Shola Ameobi, the Intertoto Cup and the phenomenon of false memories

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Matty Taylor

Turning 36 today, Taylor was scoring crucial goals in Portsmouth’s great escape from relegation 11 years ago. These days he’s turning out for Swindon in League Two.

Jon Parkin

Still going at the age of 35 and still a very big man, the striker has scored 32 goals in 46 appearances for York over the past two seasons, including the opener in their FA Trophy final at Wembley last term. Sadly he couldn’t stop the club suffering relegation to the National League North.

Alex Hleb

In a career which has seen him move clubs 15 times, Hleb has had four separate spells at BATE Borisov. Now he is back for a second time at Krylia Sovetov, who were relegated from the Russian Premier League last season.

Shaun Wright-Phillips

After a brief spell at New York Red Bulls, Wright-Phillips has dropped down a division to play for Phoenix Rising in the United Soccer League alongside former Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba.

Now his son, D’Margio, is in the England U-16 squad and we feel really old. He’s not the only one with a son who could make it…

Joe Cole

Injuries may have ruined his top-flight career, but Cole’s love for the game has taken him first to Coventry and now the NASL with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

We love him.

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READ: ‘Full of fantasy’: How Joe Cole captured the hearts of West Ham and Chelsea

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Chris Eagles

To be honest, we had completely forgotten Eagles existed until the former Manchester United man joined Ross County last week.

Julio Arca

Like Chimbonda, Arca is also playing non-league football in the North East, turning out for South Shields and scoring worldies like this…

Kerala Blasters

Paul Rachubka, Wes Brown, Dimitar Berbatov and Iain Hume, coached by Rene Meulensteen. What a time to be alive.

Jussi Jääskeläinen

Another player raging against the dying of the light in India, appearing alongside Robbie Keane and managed by Teddy Sheringham at ATK.

Jamie Cureton

Now playing for Farnborough in the seventh tier of English football and destined to be scoring goals until the end of time.

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READ: 21 things only fans who support lower league clubs will understand

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Pascal Chimbonda

A member of the France squad which reached the World Cup final in 2006, last month Chimbonda signed for North East side Washington, who play in the ninth tier of English football.

Aaron Hughes

Six years ago Hughes retired from international duty. This month he became the most capped home-nations defender of all time after being convinced to change his mind by Michael O’Neill.

“In my head I’m not 38, I’m still young. Then I rock up here with 22-year-olds walking past. I don’t even remember being 22,” the Hearts man recently told The Guardian.


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