After signing for French team Marseille in January and playing in his former teammate Michael Carrick’s testimonial at Old Trafford recently, Patrice Evra says he has no intention of retiring. The 36-year-old Frenchman and one-time Manchester United star says he has to keep playing because he has 24 brothers and sisters to feed.
Are footballers reaching their peak later?
Sir Stanley Matthews played 33 years as a professional, retiring just after his 50th birthday but he’s being matched by the modern generation of players who seem to be reaching their peak later and later, despite the pressures of the modern game.
Roger Milla was the oldest World Cup scorer for Cameroon at the age of 44. Francesco Totti, the legendary Roma forward, became the oldest man ever to score in the Champions League at the age of 38. In fact, Italians seem to be particularly long stayers – midfield wizard Andrea Pirlo shows no signs of letting up at 38 and Paolo Maldini played on until the age of 41. In the UK Peter Shilton played 1000 league games and finally retired at 47.
The Giggs approach
Ryan Giggs made his 600th league appearance way back in 2011, but only after a hamstring injury forced him to take a long hard look at his training and lifestyle – cutting out alcohol, changing his diet and rethinking his training regime.
So what do you need to do to boost your chances of having a long professional career? The answer may surprise you – train 10,000 hours and make a killer video. The training works out to around 20 hours a week for 10 years. And for the video, order your football team kits from a supplier like https://www.kitking.co.uk/ and get a parent, friend or coach to point the camera – it’s how Lionel Messi got discovered.
So if you want to be the next Patrice Evra or Ryan Giggs, start training smart and make sure you have a really strong motivation. For Evra, that’s having a large family to support, for you, it could be the desire to play in the biggest stadiums in the world. If you believe you can achieve, then anything is possible – even a career in your 40s!