Pass the zimmer frame: The best golden oldies XI of all time
That would make Fergie's favourite midfield wizard at least a ripe old 37-years-old, but he'd still have to go some to make it into our best golden oldies XI of all time.
Goalkeeper: Dino Zoff (played until age 41)
A difficult position to call given so many great keepers play on until their late 30s at least, but Zoff won just about everything in the game including six Serie A titles in a 22-year career with top clubs including Napoli and Juventus. Special mention also for being the oldest-ever World Cup winner after captaining Italy to the title in 1982, aged 40.
Right-back: Cafu (38)
The young man in our team, Cafu retired when he was 'just' 38, but that's not bad for a man whose game was all about overlapping runs. Once described as being so good he makes "Dani Alves look like Gary Neville," the Brazil legend has a ridiculously large trophy haul including two World Cups, the Champions League and a couple of Serie A titles.
Centre-half: Paulo Maldini (40)
An absolute shoo-in for our team given he spent a staggering 25 seasons with Milan, winning a record five Champions League medals as well as well as seven Serie A titles amongst a host of top honours.
Centre-half: Alessandro Costacurta (41)
Played alongside Maldini in the AC Milan back line for 21 years, winning seven Serie A titles and five Champions League medals. He became the oldest footballer ever to play in the Champions League, in Milan's 1-0 loss to AEK Athens on 21 November 2006, at 40 years and 211 days. Eventually hung up his boots in 2007 at the age of 41.
Left-back: Stuart Pearce (40)
Psycho rose all the way from non-League Wealdstone to the Premier League and the England team, mainly thanks to his sheer determination and uncompromising style of play. Retired from international football after Euro 96 but was persuaded to come back and even played at Euro 2000 under Kevin Keegan. Also finished his club career under KK at Man City and was 40 by the time he finally called it a day, to the collective relief of right-wingers across the country.
Right midfield: Stanley Matthews (50)
When Blackpool manager Joe Smith was thinking of signing Stan from Stoke he asked him: "You're 32, do you think you can make it for another couple of years?" He eventually played his last English top flight match aged 50, but later claimed he had retired "too early". Holds a string of records for being the oldest player ever to play in England's top flight and the oldest player ever to represent England aged 42 years and 104 days. Is also England's oldest goalscorer aged 41 years and 248 days. Makes the rest of our side look like young whipper-snappers.
Centre midfield: Billy Bonds (41)
Hammers hard man Billy played a record 793 first-team games for the East enders in a career spanning 21 seasons. A toe injury in 1985 kept him out for an entire season but even though he was already past 40, he persevered and forced his way back into the first team the following term. Eventually retired in April 1988 at the age of 41 years and 226 days.
Centre midfield: Gordon Strachan (40)
An early pioneer of using diet to prolong his career Strachan swore by porridge, bananas and seaweed pills and they seemed to do the trick as even when he won the First Division with Leeds in 1992 aged 35, he still had a good five years left in the tank. Was still playing Premier League football with Coventry past his 40th birthday before retiring to concentrate on management.
Left midfield: Jimmy Dickinson (40)
More at home in defence but left-footed Gentleman Jim gets into the side for having racked up a whopping 764 games for Portsmouth in a 20 year career that saw him play on into his 40s.
Centre-forward: Teddy Sheringham (42)
Was released by then-Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle aged 36 for being too old, but went on to play for another six years in the top two divisions for Porstmouth, West Ham and Colchester. Eventually hung up his boots aged 42, a staggering 25 years after he signed for Millwall.
Centre-forward: Roger Milla (42)
First retired in 1987, but was still playing World Cup football seven years later. Was persuaded by Cameroon President Paul Biya to come out of retirement for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, where he became the star of the tournament aged 38, scoring four goals in the Indomitable Lions run to the quarter-final stage. Milla than came out of retirement for a second time four years later for the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Holds the record for the oldest footballer to play in the World Cup finals, and the oldest goalscorer after netting against Russia aged 42.
Manager: Bela Guttmann (74)
Sir Bobby Robson was in the running for the gaffer's gig but whereas the former England boss was 71 when he left Newcastle in 2004, while Hungarian innovator Guttmann was still a top flight coach with Porto at the grand old age of 74. He doesn't fare too badly on the medal front either having won successive European Cups with a Eusebio-inspired Benfica in the early 1960s, as well as domestic titles in Brazil, Portugal and Hungary.
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