From Cristiano Ronaldo to Kevin De Bruyne, Ranking the Best 10 Players Over 30 Years of Age

From Cristiano Ronaldo to Kevin De Bruyne, Ranking the Best 10 Players Over 30 Years of Age

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
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K. D. Bruyne
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  • There are some top footballers over the age of 30 who continue to dominate
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah are good examples of these players
  • Sports Brief has ranked the greatest 10 current footballers over the age of 30

Clocking your 30s in football is usually a sign that the end is close - not the end of a footballer's career, but rather the end of their peak.

Even with advancements in modern medicine, hectic schedules and fewer rest days means players dominating deep into their 30s is difficult.

There are exceptions, of course, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic perfect examples of players who have contributed to their teams in their mid to late 30s.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, Al-Nassr, Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich, Champions League, Saudi Pro League, Ballon d'Or, Manchester City
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are still the biggest stars in football. Photos by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images, Visionhaus, and Buda Mendes.
Source: Getty Images

It is often said that footballers reach their peak at the ages of 27 and 29.

Goalkeepers can play at the highest level deep into their 30s due to the nature of their job. However, outfield players are usually in their prime in their mid to late 20s.

So, who are the best players over the age of 30 in football? Sports Brief takes a look.

Top 10 footballers over 30

10. Alisson (31) - Liverpool

The Brazil No. 1 is considered the best goalkeeper in the world. He is clearly the best keeper in the Premier League and continues to play a vital role for Liverpool. The former AS Roma goalie still has gaffes in his game, but the saves outweigh his mistakes.

9. Antoine Griezmann (32) - Atletico Madrid

The World Cup winner's form dipped significantly after moving to Barcelona but since returning to Atletico, he is enjoying one of the best spells in his career. Only Jude Bellingham has scored more goals than him in La Liga this season.

8. Virgil van Dijk (32) - Liverpool

The centre-back is slowly getting back to his best following a serious knee injury a few years ago. The Liverpool star is probably the best centre-half in the Premier League.

7. Robert Lewandowski (35) - Barcelona

The former Bayern Munich striker won the La Liga Golden Boot in his first La Liga season and has shown no signs of slowing down. He has started poorly in the 2023/24 season, and that could be the reason for Barcelona's struggles in front of goal this season.

6. Kevin De Bruyne (32) - Manchester City

De Bruyne is the best playmaker in the world. He won the treble with Man City last season, but injuries have forced him to miss the last few months. He had 31 assists last season, cementing his status as the best creator in the world.

5. Heung-min Son (31) - Tottenham Hotspur

Son was given a huge responsibility to lead Tottenham after Harry Kane left the club in the summer. So far this season, he has scored eight Premier League goals, helping Spurs start well this season.

4. Mohamed Salah (31) - Liverpool

Many considered Salah a one-season wonder, but the Egyptian has proven them wrong so many times. In all six of his seasons at Liverpool, the winger has been consistent and has the UEFA Champions League and Premier League to show for it.

3. Harry Kane (30) - Bayern Munich

Kane is one of the best strikers of his generation. He scored loads of goals for Tottenham, but trophies were hard to come by. In Germany, he has shattered several records in the few months he's been there. He is the leading scorer in the Bundesliga, with a mind-boggling 18 goals in 12 games for Bayern Munich.

2. Lionel Messi (36) - Inter Miami

Messi won a World Cup at 35, and there's really nothing to add to what has been said about the Argentine magician. He went to the MLS and had no problem scoring goals. Oh, and he won his eighth Ballon d'Or in October.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (37) - Al-Nassr

Ronaldo turns 39 soon and has been one of the best players in 2023. He is the best player over 30, and it seems he just keeps getting better.

All stats courtesy of Transfermarkt.

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Messi wins the 2023 Ballon d'Or

Sports Brief also reported that Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or for the eighth time in his career at a star-studded ceremony in Paris at the end of October.

The 36-year-old succeeded Karim Benzema as the winner of the prize awarded for his performances last season when he inspired Argentina to World Cup glory.

It was his displays in Qatar - when Messi dragged his country to a victory - that crowned his remarkable career and allowed Messi him to claim the top prize.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.