Golden oldies: Five famous footballers who played beyond 40

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 3, 2015

Stevenage boss Teddy Sheringham, aged 49, has registered himself as a player ahead of the League Two team’s participation in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup.

With that in mind, not to mention the fact his original player career went beyond 40, turning out for Colchester United in the Championship at 42, Coral football experts look at five other famous footballers who continued past that milestone.

Paolo Maldini

Italy Soccer Serie A

One of the greatest defenders of all-time, Maldini’s 24-year senior career with AC Milan came to an end in 2009 just a month shy of his 41st birthday. The left back and later centre half made over 900 appearances for the Rossoneri, earning 126 caps for Italy and a trophy haul that includes seven Scudettos and five European Cup triumphs.


Former Barcelona, Milan and Olympiakos forward Rivaldo was desperate to play alongside his son Rivaldinho, and fulfilled that ambition aged 43 when both father and child scored goals for Mogi Mirim in July 2015. Check out this family footage:

A World Cup winner in 2002 with Brazil, few would’ve thought Rivaldo’s career would continue for 13 more years after reaching the pinnacle of football at 30 years old.

Brad Friedel

Soccer - Barclay's Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City - White Hart Lane

USA goalkeeping great Friedel only hanged up his gloves at the end of last season after 18 years in English football. Starting at Liverpool (1997-2000), he went on to represent Blackburn Rovers (2000-08), Aston Villa (2008-11) and Tottenham (2011-15), making a total of 451 Premier League appearances.

Roger Milla

Cameroon legend Milla famously played at the 1994 World Cup aged 42, scoring in a 6-1 defeat by Russia. His club career continued in Indonesia until he was 44. Relive his famous strike below:

Stanley Matthews

Soccer - League Divison One - Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur - Victoria Ground

When it comes to playing late, nobody more high-profile played longer than Stoke City and Blackpool icon Matthews. He still turned out for the Potters at the grand old age of 50 years and five days, which proved his final league appearance.


View more of Coral’s terrific trivia articles.