Oldest Soccer Players in Serie A

Professional football in Italy has been around for more than a century. The first league, the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC, or Italian Football Federation), was a regional group that got its start in 1898. As more and more teams joined, there was a split that led to the formation of Confederazione Calcistica Italiana (CCI). Eventually, both groups rejoined and developed Serie A in 1929.

There are currently 20 teams in Serie A that are located throughout Italy. While there are plenty of young players to go around, there are also quite a few players who have reached or are close to 40 years of age. Let’s take a look to see who are – and who have been – the oldest players in Serie A.

Italy’s Oldest Players

We looked through the current rosters of Serie A teams to suss the oldest players in the league. Goalkeeper Marco Storari, age 40, is the oldest current player. He plays for AC Milan after being loaned out from Cagliari early in 2017. This isn’t his first gig with Milan, either – he made 13 appearances for the club before moving to Juventus in 2010, later joining Cagliari in 2015.

The second oldest Serie A player is Albano Bizzarri. Bizzarri is also a veteran goalkeeper. He was signed by Udinese early 2017, but has spent time on several squads, including Real Madrid, Lazio, and Genoa.

The third oldest Serie A player is another keeper, Bogdan Lobonț, who joined Roma in 2009. Lobonț, 39, has spent time playing for a few football clubs, including the Dutch team Ajax. The fourth oldest player is Gianluigi Buffon, a 39-year-old goalkeeper (and captain) for Juventus. Buffon, who retired from international play after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, joined Juventus in 2001 and has been a mainstay of the squad since.

The fifth oldest player is Ferdinando Coppola, another Serie A goalkeeper for the Verona team. He joined Verona in 2015 as a free agent. While these are the oldest current players, which Serie A players have been the oldest ever to take the field for a Serie A team?

The Oldest to Ever Take the Field

Looking back over Serie A’s long history, we checked out which players were the oldest to ever take the field for one of their teams. Marco Ballotta comes in as the furthest aged. He began playing professionally in the early ’80s, and he was 44 years, 1 month, and 8 days old at the time of the specific 2008 match between his Lazio and Genoa. Lazio won the game 2 to 0.

The second oldest ever to play a Serie A game was Francesco Antonioli. He was 42 years, 7 months, and 22 days old during the match in question between his Cesena squad and Novara Calcio in 2012. Cesena ultimately lost 3 to 0.

The third oldest Serie A player to take the field was Alberto Fontana. He was 41 years, 9 months, and 23 days old when his Palermo squad met Inter Milan in 2008. Palermo was defeated 0 to 2.

Standing the Test of Time

While the oldest of the Serie A players are in their late 30s (and one is 40), many of the oldest players from each team aren’t too far into their 30s. Benevento’s oldest player, for example, is only 31 – Andrea Costa has been playing football for over a decade, but he’s still on the youthful side when considering the league’s “oldest” players. Boukary Dramé is another young oldster – the Atalanta player is only 32 years old.

Others are definitely in their upper 30s, though. In addition to the top five oldest Serie A players, there are plenty that are 35 years of age or older, including Christian Maggio (35, Napoli), Nicolas Burdisso (36, Torino), Andrea Cossu (37, Cagliari), and Stefano Sorrentino (38, Chievo).

Conclusion

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The 2017 UEFA Champions League Final

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Champions League Final

The Champions League Final is the most watched sporting event in the world with a global audience exceeding 350 million viewers. Arranged by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the Champions League is a prestigious tournament that utilizes a complex coefficient system to determine which clubs can compete in the grand European Cup.

It’s time to transform into the soccer fanatic you truly are. Here’s everything you need to know to be prepared for the 2017 Champions League Final. Read on!

Italian Side vs. Spanish Side

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The Spanish club Real Madrid and the Italian club Juventus have a history of going head-to-head with each other in the Champions League.

There’s no other way to look at it – both champions competing in the final leverage a real home-field advantage. A total of 18 Champions League matches have ensued between the competing teams: With nine of those games unraveling at Juventus Stadium, the other eight matches were hosted on Real Madrid’s world-famous stomping grounds, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. One round transpired on neutral turf.

“Juve,” “Juve,” “Juve!” is the enthusiastic chant that echoes throughout the sold out Juventus Stadium in an effort to galvanize the team. The Turin-based squad has claimed victory at six of its nine home matches and has scored 21 goals (an average of 1.17 per game) throughout the 18 showdowns. Conversely, Real Madrid won five of their eight home games with the tremendous support of die-hard Madridistas at their extravagant stadium. Real Madrid trails behind in total goals scored, with 18 shots passing the goaltender (one goal per game, on average).

Champions Route

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The journey to the Champions League Final is no walk in the park, so let’s see how the matches culminating to this imperative round went down.

Real Madrid defeated Napoli 3-1, with goals credited to Sergio Ramos, Álvaro Morata, and Dries Mertens shipping one right into his own team’s net. Next, in the quarterfinals, Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo wreaked havoc on German team Bayern Munich by netting a total of five goals between both matches. The Meringues advanced to the semifinals, where they downed Atletico Madrid in return for a one-way ticket to the finals.

After achieving shutout success against both F.C. Porto and F.C. Barcelona, Juventus teammates are adamant in proving the durability of their back-line. We’ll even go as far as saying the team is a contender for the best defensive group in Champions League history. In the semi-finals, AS Monaco managed to break Juve’s back-line and ship one goal in – but it wasn’t enough to prevent La Fidanzata d’Italia (translation: “The Girlfriend of Italy”) from progressing to the finals.

Standout Strikers

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As the Champions League Final approaches, standout players from both the Spanish and Italian sides will leave everything they have on the field with one objective in mind: to hoist Ol’ Big Ears above their heads once again.

Looking to break their team’s 21-year Champions League drought: Dani Alves, Gonzalo Higuaín, and Paulo Dybala have their eyes set on the big prize. Italian football (soccer) has been attracting elite superstars as of late, and Juventus players hope to continue the trend by bringing home one of the highest accolades in European football.

🏆😙 #Juventus @juventus #Dybala #Higuaín @ghiguain20_9 @paulodybala #UCLfinal #championsleague

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If there’s one player you should direct your attention toward, make it Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese megastar is in peak condition and is showing no signs of slowing down in the concluding weeks of the season. Alvaro Morata and Karim Benzema are the other Real Madrid players to be on the lookout for – both proving to be central pieces to Real Madrid’s success during their campaign.

@cristiano + @garethbale11 = 🏆 #Cristiano #Ronaldo #Bale #RealMadrid @realmadrid #championsleague #UCLfinal

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It All Comes Down to This

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Hitting the Back of the Net in the Champions League

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Champions League Top Scorers

While it’s not America’s most popular sport, soccer commands the attention of the rest of the world as the “Beautiful Game.” No competition pits so many of the best teams and players against each other than the Champions League. Hosted by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the Champions League is a multi-tiered competition involving group and knockout stages. The final, a last 90-minute outing between the two best teams, actually draws more eyeballs than the Big Game in the NFL!

While it takes a team to make it to the final game or to win the competition, individual brilliance is appreciated. Here are the names of the clubs and players you need to know, both from years past and some of today’s starting XIs, when it comes to slotting the ball into the net in the Champions League.

Golden Boots

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Even under the bright lights of some of the world’s biggest sporting competitions, singular players can shine by scoring goals. No one player has scored more goals than Real Madrid’s striker Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward is closing in on the century mark, a feat no other player has accomplished in the Champions League. However, he isn’t alone in making this climb.

The other household name player Lionel Messi sits only three goals behind Ronaldo. The FC Barcelona forward and Argentinian footballing prodigy continues to keep pace with his peers. In fact, these two players have each won the most coveted award in soccer, the FIFA Ballon d’Or, multiple times. Essentially soccer’s most valuable player award, Ronaldo and Messi are the only two to win the award over the last nine years.

It’s not just strikers from La Liga who have won the award – several of the best strikers in the Premier League’s biggest clubs have made their mark in the Champions League as well. Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry scored over 50 goals, seven more than former crosstown rival Didier Drogba, who scored 44 goals for Chelsea.

Target Practice

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While every goal counts the same, certain teams have a propensity to score more frequently from different locations on the pitch. Two clubs, La Liga giant FC Barcelona and the beloved Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, most frequently score inside the area. Each of these clubs has scored 18 goals in the 2016 Champions League Group Stage matches from this location.

Three clubs have specialized in scoring from outside the area with Juventus’ Bianconeri leading the charge. They boast two of the Serie A’s most dynamic strikers, Gonzalo Higuaín and Paulo Dybala, who are both capable of netting a worldie.

When it comes to penalties, several teams have shown success in converting their chances. One of these is the Bundesliga’s champions-elect Bayern Munich. While the club converted two penalty attempts this season, they know just how important these chances are – just ask those Bayern players who lost to Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final on penalties.

Weapon of Choice

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While there are many locations to score goals from, there are also a few options a player may use to send that ball into the net. Whether they’re using their head or their weak or strong foot, each goal is crucial to advancing in the tournament. No one has scored more goals with their left foot in the 2016 Champions League than Lionel Messi.

However, behind him is Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian winger was part of Leicester City’s unprecedented Premier League title victory in the 2015-16 season and has been a key figure in their advancement to the round of 16 in the Champions League.

Edinson Cavani doesn’t just specialize with his right foot – which has helped him score four goals for Paris Saint-Germain – he’s also got a good head on his shoulders. The Uruguayan forward has sent two goals into the net with the use of his noggin, matching the efforts of other star players like S.S.C. Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik or Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.

Taking Their Shot

Whether your favorite team plays in England, France, Germany, or Spain, there’s no denying the quality of competition in the Champions League. Cheer on your favorite side with the best officially licensed club merchandise and apparel at Fanatics.

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Running Wild in the Champions League

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Champions League Runaways

Fans may cover larger distances to see their team play in a Champions League match, but players traverse many meters (or kilometers) themselves during matches. While they don’t earn frequent flier miles or spend 90 minutes in first class, they’re counting on their legs – and not the captain or crew – to deliver a Champions League medal.

While the pace isn’t everything, it’s worth recognizing the importance of a fit side, capable of keeping up the intensity for sustained periods of play. Which players vying for Champions League glory this season have logged the most miles? Who has covered the most distance? Continue reading to see which wing-footed footballers cover every blade of grass two or three times per match.

Counting Their Steps

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In the six matches played in the Champions League group stages, no individual covered more ground than Aleksandr Gatskan. The Moldovan midfielder plays for FC Rostov and played 540 minutes (not including stoppage time) of the team’s group stage matches against Atlético Madrid, FC Bayern Munich, and PSV Eindhoven. While Gatskan didn’t score any goals, it’s possible his efforts to cover over 71,000 meters in six games helped his side upset the German giants of Bayern 3-2.

Three players for Atlético Madrid make the top 10 in total distance – Gabi, Koke, and Antoine Griezmann. Two midfielders and a forward covered over 210,000 meters combined, which is 210 kilometers or over 130 miles. These “Los Rojiblancos” certainly turn heads as they continue to motor around the pitch.

Meaningful Minutes

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While midfielders and attackers have to cover plenty of ground, don’t forget there are plenty of defenders responsible for being engaged in both phases of the game. Patrice Evra, a key defender for Juventus, only played 500 minutes but managed to log over 54,000 meters.

Some of the game’s biggest names, especially in the group stages, don’t play as many minutes as fans might like but still cover ridiculous distances. Take MSN – Messi, Suárez, and Neymar – the attacking trio for FC Barcelona. Lionel “Leo” Messi covered just shy of 40,000 meters in 450 minutes of play. Luis Suárez managed to cover over 46,000 meters in the same amount of time, while Neymar managed over 47,000 meters in less than 440 minutes.

Track on Field

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When it comes to the speed at which this distance is covered, it’s a photo finish at over 140 meters per minute. No other men cover as many meters per minute as Atlético Madrid’s Saúl Ñíguez and Real Madrid’s Lucas Vázquez. These two players offer their clubs extreme versatility due to their pace and ability to play in multiple spots. As such, they get the opportunity to do the dirty work and track forward and back throughout the game.

Tracking Back

Leave covering every blade of grass on the pitch to the players. Cover up for the matches in your team’s crest and colors with Fanatics, where you’re able to find the best officially licensed merchandise and apparel for every Champions League side.