Following our series of posts about footballers over 30 years old, today we analyse how many ‘oldies’ are playing for each team in the 5 major leagues.
If you have read my last post about Italian players you might assume that the top 5 positions will be taken by clubs from the Mediterranean country. Well, your assumption is correct, 3 out of the 5 teams with the highest number of players over 30 are Italian.
But let’s move away from Serie A for a bit and have a close look to other competitions. What’s going on in La Liga? Rayo Vallecano’s squad includes 12 mature players, but what about the rest?
Alongside Rayo Vallecano, Deportivo de A Coruña and Real Betis also have a significant amount of players over 30.
Rayo Vallecano’s performance this season has been terrible, and they are currently in relegation positions. Among their oldies you can find former Spanish national team player Pablo Hernández (30) and striker Javi Guerra (33).
Deportivo, on the other hand, are doing a brilliant season (disclaimer: I’m a Deportivo fan). Its squad includes veteran players like former Newcastle player Jonás Gutierrez (32) or the historical Deportivo’s right back, Manuel Pablo (39).
Deportivo’s biggest rival, Celta de Vigo, are the team with the lowest number of veteran footballers in Spanish La Liga. Only the Argentinian defender, Gustavo Cabral, is over 30. Well, actually he is just 30 years old.
Most German teams have less than 6 players over 30, but there are two exceptions: FC Augsburg and SV Darmstadt 98. Both teams are in the lower half of the table, holding 12th and 13th positions respectively
FC Augsburg’s squad includes former Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger (38) and Estonian international Ragnar Klavan (30).
On the other hand, SV Darmstadt 98 has a very interesting ‘oldie’, Costa Rican Júnior Díaz. He is 32 years old and during the last World Cup he was deemed by FIFA as the fastest player of the competition.
Manchester City and Stoke include 10 footballers over 30 in their squads, making them the two teams with the highest number of veteran players in the Premier League.
Fernandinho (30), Yaya Touré (32) or Jesús Navas (30) are some of the top players in Manchester City’s squad.
Stoke City’s ‘oldies’ include English defender Glen Johnson (31) and Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie (34).
It’s worth mentioning that Tottenham Hotspurs only have one player over 30. Alongside Celta de Vigo, they are the team with the lowest number of veteran players in major European competitions.
As you can see in the chart below, on top the table there are two French teams with 9 players over 30 in their squads.
SC Bastia, currently in 15th position, have two former French international players: Mehdi Mostefa (32) and Sébastien Squillaci (35).
SCO Angers, currently in 3rd position, also has two former internacionals, Algerian Anthar Yahia (33) and Guinean Ibrahima Diallo (30).
Last week I defined Serie A as a ‘haven for players over 30’, and the chart below proves me right. Just in Chievo Verona there are 13 veterans, including footballers Dario Dainelli (36) or Slovenian international Bostjan Cesar (33).