These are the best football oldies in Europe

Soccer players are getting younger and younger - and yet there are players over 30 in Europe's soccer leagues who are indispensable for their team. One-versus-one shows you the best over-30 players at the moment.

Of course you expect superstars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at this point. But we have to disappoint you: These two living legends do not appear in our top five. Both are not yet playing the role at their clubs that they could at their past stations.

How do we rank players?

But how do we even determine who's in the rankings and who's not? It's simple: we look at performance data from the current season. With our 1vs1 performance index, we can determine exactly which players are playing well and who is weaker. The result is an objective ranking that shows you exactly which over-30 players still have it.

Ilkay Gündogan (31 Jahre, Manchester City): 90

The best over-30 player in Europe is a German: Ilkay Gündogan. The central midfielder is his usual dominant self in Manchester City's pass-intensive game, is a goal threat, and most recently led Pep Guardiola's team onto the field as captain. Particularly striking are his excellent scores in game-building metrics such as the Expected-Goal-Build-Up value.

Robert Lewandowski (33, FC Bayern München): 89

The second-best "oldie" is also anything but an unknown in Germany: Bayern's Robert Lewandowski. The Pole continues to score as he pleases in the current season, having already scored 16 goals in 14 Bundesliga games. So it's no wonder that Lewandowski is right at the top of this ranking. However, "Lewy" is one index point short of first place - will he catch up with Gündogan this season?

Marcos Alonso (30, FC Chelsea): 89

Chelsea's left winger Marcos Alonso is rated only slightly lower than Lewandowski. This may come as a surprise to some, as Alonso had temporarily lost his regular spot to the convincing Ben Chilwell. However, our data shows that Alonso plays well when he is on the pitch. The Spaniard stands out for the many dangerous crosses that Romelu Lukaku and Co. are served within the box.

Thiago Silva (37, FC Chelsea): 85

Thiago Silva is a phenomenon. At 37, the center back is playing as well as ever, won the Champions League with Chelsea and is an integral part of Thomas Tuchel's team. The great game intelligence of the veteran can also be seen in the data: Silva shows top values in tackles as well as in the passing game. 

Virgil van Dijk (30, FC Liverpool): 83

The world's most expensive defender is playing his way back to prominence after a lengthy injury and is Liverpool's undisputed defensive boss. In the current season, Virgil van Dijk has not missed a single minute. From a data perspective, the extremely good values in the build-up game catch the eye. Of course, the giant defender van Dijk (1.93 meters) also impresses with top statistics in heading.


If you want to learn more about the best players over 30, just click through their profiles. Want to dive deeper into the rankings, or maybe check out other age groups? Then our rankings are the right place for you. Have fun browsing!

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