There’s always a lot of buzz about the brimming youth system in Spain. The same goes for the youngsters that are churned out annually. We must howver also honour those who even at an advanced age are still at the top of their game in La Liga.

This article is essentially an ode to the senior gentlemen of the league relentlessy going strong. Here’s a list of players who will be 31 or older at the start of the Spanish First Division 16/17 season.

 

Claudio Bravo, 33, FC Barcelona 

Made his Liga debut for Real Sociedad a decade ago and is 33 years young. He will face more competition from Marc Andre Ter Stegen for his number 1s pot in the league but has been a mainstay for FC Barcelona in the last 2 seasons.

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Juanfran, 31, Atletico Madrid

It seems like it was ages ago he won the Golden Player award at UEFA’s U-19 tournament in 2004. He made his Liga debut that same year for Real Madrid. Formerly a winger, he has gone on to make a name for himself as one of the country’s finest fullbacks.

Pepe, 33, Real Madrid

Fresh from winning the Euros, 33 year old Pepe will be looking to continue his fine form for Real Madrid. He has been a mainstay in the heart of the Merengue defence since he joined in July 2007, winning the league twice.

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Javier Mascherano, 32, FC Barcelona

Since joining FC Barcelona in 2010, he has grown in leaps and bounds as a player and is considered one of the best centre backs in the league. Perhaps this would be the year he finally scores a goal in Blaugrana colours.

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Filipe Luis, 31, Atletico Madrid

Has been in Spain for over a decade, playing for  Real Madrid Castilla and Deportivo before joining Atletico in 2010 where he was a constant member of the team that won the league title in 2014. Still going on strong, he looks like h has a few more years to play at the top level.

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Andres Iniesta, 32, FC Barcelona

It is no coincidence that Spain and Barcelona’s most successful era has come in the time of this outstanding genius. Even at the age of 32 his 2 man of the match awards at Euro 2016 attest to the fact that he is far from finished. We hope he can stay injury free and keep dazzling us with his magical displays.

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Bruno Soriano, 32, Villarreal CF

Villarreal’s version of Steven Gerrard. Their captain fantastic has been with them through thick and thin, from relegation to Europe. He’s endowed with uncanny intelligence and a hammer of a left foot. His performances last season led to him being selected in the Spain squad for Euro 2016.

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Jose Antonio Reyes, 32, Espanyol

The Journeyman of Spanish football has represented Sevilla (twice). He’s turned out for both Real and Atletico  Madrid, as well as spells outside Spain with Arsenal and Benfica. Espanyol will be the latest team to enjoy the services of the 5 time Europa league Champion.

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Fernando Torres, 31, Atletico Madrid

Atleti’s youngest ever captain and the scourge of FC Barcelona. Torres’ form has improved markedly since rejoining his boyhood club. Although reaching the heights of the old El Nino may be impossible, he has shown that he is still a more than capable forward prompting Los Colchoneros to sign him on a permanent basis.

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Aritz Aduriz, 35, Atletico Bilbao

Aduriz has been a striker reborn in his third spell with Bilbao. He has scored 90 league goals in 4 seasons since turning 31 including a career high 20 goals in the league and 36 overall last season. All this culminated in his second Zarra trophy for the highest scoring Spanish player as well as a long awaited competition debut for Spain’s national team.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, 31, Real Madrid

Real’s all time top scorer, Portugal’s all time top scorer, double European Champion in 2016, a true legend of the game. Phenomenal season after phenomenal season posting better goal scoring numbers than a lot of  clubs. Ronaldo is irrepressible and has shown little signs of slowing down anytime soon

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Honourable  Mentions

  • Javi Varas
  • Ruben Castro
  • Xabi Prieto
  • Asier Riesgo
  • Gaizka Torquero
  • Idriss Carlos Kameni
  • Tiago
  • Mathieu
  • Weligton
  • Duda
  • Charles B
  • Nino
  • Joaquin
  • Ruben Castro
  • Juan vargas
  • Krohn-Dehli
  • Fernando Amorebieta
  • Diego Alves
  • Soldado

Article By: Ayoola Kelechi

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