These world soccer stars are still active in exotic leagues or promotion divisions. We tell you where several famous soccer players play today
Photos: Wikimedia-Ronnie Macdonald, Wikimedia-Илья Хохлов, TAKA@P.P.R.S
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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Leer en español: ¿Dónde juegan estos 10 futbolistas que pensabas que se habían retirado pero siguen activos?
The world of soccer has a very short life, with high performance. Age, injuries, and competition from new faces are obstacles veteran players must contend with. For this reason, many decide to go play for unknown teams or leagues and lose themselves from the fans' radar.
These are 10 players you may have stopped hearing about, but are still in professional football.
The Spaniard, who once shone with Arsenal in London and Villarreal, today gives all his talent in the Qatar league. At almost 38 years old, the midfielder stands out date after date at Al-sadd in Doha, scoring goals with both legs and leading his team that is fighting not to be relegated.
The Cameroonian, former Arsenal and Barcelona, today plays in an exotic league. He is a midfielder for AS Arta/Solar7 in the Djiboutian first division. With Song in the lead, the team from the city of Arta has been crowned champion of the last 2 tournaments. The 35-year-old Franco-Cameroonian continues to show that he has a lot of football to offer the world.
Humberto “Chupete” Suazo
One of the deadliest Chilean strikers, Humberto Suazo, continues to squeeze what remains of his quality at La Serena in the town of Coquimbo. “Chupete”, as he is known for his way of celebrating, at 41 years old, continues to score goals and increase the incredible number of 332 points and 147 assists.
The Belgian, who caused a sensation at Manchester United with his towering hair and stature, has not retired. At almost 35 years old, he stands out in the Chinese Super League at Shandong Luneng Taishan. Currently, the player of Moroccan descent has played 16 games, 4 goals and 1 assist in 2022.
Super Mario is one of the most recorded players of recent times. Despite the fact that he was never able to exploit all the talent that was seen at Inter, his personality and scandals always occupied the front pages. The wayward and little understood Balotelli went from playing for Inter, Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool, to the Swiss league. In the recent summer market, Mario moved from Turkey's Adana Demirspor to Switzerland's FC Sion.
La Foquita Farfán, one of the legendary forwards of the Peruvian national team, is still active in the first division of his country. Jefferson, who shone in German football and forgot the Schalke 04 and PSV Eindhoven, today is in his first love: Alianza Lima. Surely he does not have many years left in his professional career, since his 37 years of knee injury have prevented him from showing his quality at the club.
Shrewsbury's homegrown goalkeeper, once Sir Alex Ferguson's dream for Manchester United, today saves at Celtic in the Scottish league. The former goalkeeper was a figure in Manchester City, Torino, West Ham and Tottenham, and even with a long career (he is only 35 years old, which for a goalkeeper is an ideal age) he plays in the Scottish club and competes in the Champions League.
One of the professional players with the most striking name. The 38-year-old Brazilian remains competitive in the top division of Kazakhstan. The former CSKA Moscow, AS Monaco, Palmeiras, Corinthians and Flamengo striker, among others, is today one of the stars of Kairat Almaty with whom he has played 57 games, scoring 27 goals and providing 20 assists.
The former Marseille star has been experimenting for a couple of years in different European leagues. Recently, he has played for Dinamo Moscow, Lyon in France, Fenerbahce in Turkey and today he stands out for Olympiakos in Greece. Currently, he is a teammate of James Rodríguez, who recently arrived at the Greek team. Valbuena, who also played for the French team, has 10 games this season, 1 goal and 3 assists.
Podolski, Polish by birth but German by nationality, is still a professional player at the age of 37. Today, he plays for Górnik Zabrze in the Polish first division. He reached the top of world football, being world champion in 2014, standing out at Bayern Munich, Cologne, Arsenal and Inter. Later, he ended up playing in lesser teams and in uncompetitive leagues, such as Galatasaray and Antalyaspor from Turkey, Vissel Kobe from Japan and the current Górnik from Poland.