Top 12 oldest football players still playing in 2023: ranked

Top 12 oldest football players still playing in 2023: ranked

Lewis Injai, Adrianna Simwa
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Football is quite an energy-intensive and demanding sport. Yet, with the global average retirement age for a football player pegged at around 35 years, most players usually struggle with retirement. So, who is the oldest football player still active? We rank the top 12 oldest footballers still playing in 2023.

Oldest footballers still playing
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Ageing in football is usually associated with a drop in physical capabilities, increasingly frequent and severe injuries, more family obligations, and a shift in a career focus or purpose in life. The footballers on our list have defied all odds and time to stay active. So, who are they?

Top 12 oldest football players still playing in 2023

Who is the current oldest football player still playing? Below is a list of the top 12 oldest footballers in 2023 still playing.

12. Jorge Molina

kazuyoshi miura
Jorge Molina of Granada CF looks on during the LaLiga Santander match between Getafe CF and Granada CF at Coliseum Alfonso Perez in Getafe, Spain. Photo: Denis Doyle
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Jorge Molina Vidal
  • Date of birth: 22 April 1982
  • Age: 40 years old (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Alcoi, Spain
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Current club: Granada
  • Position: Centre-forward

Jorge Molina is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Granada in the Segunda División. He began playing professional football at the age of 25 with Poli Ejido. During his career, Molina has earned two promotions to La Liga while scoring 77 goals in 213 matches across all competitions.

11. Roque Santa Cruz

oldest premier league player
Paraguayan player Roque Santa Cruz draws the name Uruguay during the draw of the South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 at Centro de Convenciones de CONMEBOL in Asuncion, Paraguay. Photo: Luis Vera
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Roque Luis Santa Cruz Cantero
  • Date of birth: 16 August 1981
  • Place of birth: Asuncion, Paraguay
  • Age: 40 years (as of 2023)
  • Nationality: Paraguayan
  • Current club: Libertad
  • Position: Striker

Roque Santa Cruz holds the current record for the highest goal scorer for his country. He has earned well over 100 caps with his national team and is regarded as the best player in the Nation's history.

He started his career in his home country of Paraguay with Club Olimpia before making it to the European Leagues when he joined Bayern Munich in 1999.

At Bayern, Santa was part of the successful team that won numerous Bundesliga titles, the German League cup, the 2000-01 UEFA Champions League, and the 2001 Intercontinental Cup.

10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

oldest football players still playing
Zlatan Ibrahimović attends the Asterix Et Obelix: L'Empire Du Milieu Premiere At Le Grand Rex in Paris, France. Photo: Pierre Suu
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Zlatan Ibrahimović
  • Date of birth: 3 October 1981
  • Age: 41 years old (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Malmö, Sweden
  • Nationality: Bosnian, Swedish
  • Current club: A.C. Milan
  • Position: Striker

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Swedish professional footballer who plays as a striker for AC Milan in Serie A and the Swedish national team. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers of all time and one of the most decorated active footballers in the world, having won 34 trophies during his career.

9. Diego Lopez

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Diego Lopez of RCD Espanyol looks on during the La Liga Santander match between Villarreal CF and RCD Espanyol at Estadio de la Ceramica in Villarreal, Spain. Photo: Manuel Queimadelos
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Diego Lopez Rodriguez
  • Date of birth: 3 November 1981
  • Age: 41 years (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Paradela, Spain
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Current club: Rayo Vallecano
  • Position: Goalkeeper

Diego Lopez is a Spanish goalkeeper with a long and extensive career spanning three decades. He signed a one-year contract with Rayo Vallecano on 2 July 2022 as a free agent. Diego is known for his ball control, distribution and speed when rushing off his line to anticipate opponents.

8. Joaquin Sanchez

how old is the oldest football player
Joaquin Sanchez of Real Betis looks on during a Friendly match between Real Betis and Atalanta at Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville, Spain. Photo: Fran Santiago
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Joaquín Sánchez Rodríguez
  • Date of birth: 21 July 1981
  • Place of birth: El Puerto, Spain
  • Age: 41 years (as of 2023)
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Current club: Real Betis
  • Position: Winger

Joaquin is known for his excellent pace, dribbling, and crossing skills. He had an illustrious career of close to three decades across several La Liga teams and has made quite a name for himself, notably at Valencia and Real Betis. Joaquin Sanchez is among the oldest player to score a goal in the history of La Liga.

7. Fábio

oldest professional footballer
Fabio Pereira da Silva of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Burnley and Middlesbrough at Turf Moor in Burnley, England. Photo: Dave Thompson
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Fábio Deivson Lopes Maciel
  • Date of birth: 30 September 1980
  • Age: 42 years old (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Nobres, Mato Grosso, Brazil
  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Current club: Fluminense
  • Position: Goalkeeper

Fábio is a Brazilian football goalkeeper who plays for Fluminense. He currently has the third-highest number of official appearances for a professional football player. Fábio Deivson joined Fluminense in 2022, making him the club's oldest player.

6. Rabiu Ali

kazuyoshi miura
Rabiu Ali of Nigeria takes a shot at goal during the 2014 African Nations Championship match between South Africa and Nigeria at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Shaun Roy
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Rabiu Ali
  • Date of birth: 27 September 1980
  • Place of birth: Kaduna, Nigeria
  • Age: 42 years (as of2023)
  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Current club: Kano Pillars FC
  • Position: Midfielder

Rabiu Ali is a Nigerian captain for the club Kano Pillars FC. He has made a significant number of appearances on the international football scene with his national team, the Super Eagles.

Commonly referred to as 'Pele' on the Nigerian football scene, Rabiu Ali has been with Kano Pillars since 2011, and before that, he was with his boyhood club, Total Pillars, from 2005 to 2011.

5. Yasuhito Endō

oldest premier league player
Yasuhito Endo of Jubilo Iwata in action during the J.LEAGUE Meiji Yasuda J1 5th Sec. match between Urawa Red Diamonds and Jubilo Iwata at Saitama Stadium in Saitama, Japan. Photo: Etsuo Hara
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Yasuhito Endō
  • Date of birth: 28 January 1980
  • Age: 43 years old (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Kagoshima, Kagoshima, Japan
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Current club: Júbilo Iwata
  • Position: Midfielder

Yasuhito Endō is the brother of former footballer Akihiro End. Yasuhito is well-known for his free-kick accuracy. He is regarded as one of Japan's most creative midfielders and one of his generation's most talented Japanese footballers and playmakers.

4. Gianluigi Buffon

oldest football players still playing
Gianluigi Buffon, the former player of Juventus, poses for a picture before the Serie A match between Juventus and SS Lazio at Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy. Photo: Juventus FC
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Gianluigi Buffon
  • Date of birth: 28 January 1978
  • Place of birth: Carrara, Italy
  • Age: 45 years old (as of 2023)
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Current club: Parma F.C.
  • Position: Goalkeeper

Gianluigi is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, goalkeepers of all time. Buffon has established himself as one of the best players in the world for the goalkeeping position, most notably at Juventus, where he played for 17 years.

3. Paul Bastock

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Boston United goalkeeper Paul Bastock celebrates his side being promoted to the Football League. Photo: Adam Davy
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Paul Anthony Bastock
  • Date of birth: 19 May 1970
  • Age: 52 years old (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Royal Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
  • Nationality: English
  • Current club: Boston United F.C.
  • Position: Goalkeeper

Paul Bastock is a goalkeeper for Boston United in the English Premier League. He has made the most competitive club appearances in world football history. In April 2005, Paul Bastock was voted Boston's all-time cult hero by viewers of the BBC show Football Focus.

2. Kazuyoshi Miura

how old is the oldest football player
Kazuyoshi Miura of Suzuka Point Getters looks on prior to the JFL match between Criacao Shinjuku and Suzuka Point Getters at the National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Hiroki Watanabe
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Kazuyoshi Miura
  • Date of birth: 26 February 1967
  • Place of birth: Shizuoka, Japan
  • Age: 55 years (as of 2023)
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Current club: Oliveirense
  • Position: Forward

Kazuyoshi, or King Kazu as he is referred to, is arguably one of the oldest professional footballers in Japan. His rise coincided with the launch of the Japanese League J1 in 1993, which made him become the poster child of the League. He currently plays as a forward for Liga Portugal 2 club Oliveirense, on loan from J1 League club Yokohama F.C.

1. Robert Carmona

  • Full name: Robert Carmona
  • Date of birth: 30 April 1962
  • Age: 60 years old (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Uruguay
  • Nationality: Uruguayan
  • Current club: Hacele Un Gol a la Vida
  • Position: Centre-back

How old is the oldest football player? Robert Carmona is the oldest active footballer, aged 60 years old as of 2023. He began his career as a playmaker in 1976 and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest football career, having played without a season break since then. Even though he has had eight operations due to injuries, Robert Carmona intends to continue playing football.

Who is the oldest footballer in 2023?

The table below shows the oldest football players who are still playing as of 2023.



Current club

Robert Carmona

60 years old

Hacele Un Gol a la Vida

Kazuyoshi Miura

55 years old


Paul Bastock

52 years old

Boston United F.C.

Gianluigi Buffon

45 years old

Parma F.C.

Yasuhito Endō

43 years old

Júbilo Iwata

Rabiu Ali

42 years old

Kano Pillars F.C

Fábio Deivson

42 years old


Joaquin Sanchez

41 years old

Real Betis

Diego Lopez

41 years old

Rayo Vallecano

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

41 years old

A.C. Milan

Roque Santa Cruz

40 years old


Jorge Molina

40 years old


Who is the oldest Premier League player?

The Premier League is the top tier of English football, with 20 teams competing to be crowned English champions. Some of the oldest Premier League players include Thiago Silva (38 years old), Cristiano Ronaldo (38 years old) and James Milner (37 years old).

Who is the best player in the world?

Some of the best players in terms of sporting performance as well as general conduct on and off the field include Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah.

These are some of the oldest football players who are not only talented but also committed. They say age is just a number, and all of the above players are living proof of that, as they have defied the odds by staying active.

READ ALSO: Top 15 worst defenders in football history: who are they? recently did a global ranking of some of the worst defenders in football. Defending remains a top priority for a lot of managers. It is one of the most important and impactful positions in football.

Unfortunately, some defenders' version of good defending is terrible. So, who are the worst defenders in football right now? Find out more here.

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Lewis Injai
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Adrianna Simwa
Adrianna Simwa is a content writer at Sports Brief, where she has worked since mid-2022. She has written for many periodicals on a variety of subjects, including news, celebrities, and lifestyle, for more than three years.