11 brilliant over-33-year-olds proving age is just a number this season

Arjen Robben
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9. Aritz Aduriz, 36

He hasn’t been quite as spectacular this time around, but still has a healthy tally of 16 goals in all competitions

The Athletic Bilbao striker is another late bloomer who made international headlines for his goalscoring exploits last season, where he joined the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the top of La Liga’s goalscoring charts. That led to him earning his second Spain cap in early 2016 – five-and-a-half years after his first – and a place in Spain's Euro 2016 squad.  

Aduriz hasn’t been quite as spectacular this time around, but still has a healthy tally of 16 goals in all competitions. In November he netted five times in his team's 5-3 Europa League triumph over Genk, while he celebrated his 36th birthday in February with an 89th-minute winner against Deportivo La Coruna.

10. Gareth McAuley, 37

In a shocking indictment of the West Brom forward line, 37-year-old centre-back McAuley is joint-top scorer at The Hawthorns with seven goals – all from set-pieces – in all competitions this term. The Northern Irishman was a late starter – he didn’t make his professional debut until the age of 24 – but he’s making up for lost time now, and has been central to the Baggies’ excellent campaign.

11. Gianluigi Buffon, 39

Cast your mind back to November 1995, if you can. Bill Clinton was President of the United States. Toy Story had just wowed cinema audiences with its cutting-edge CGI. And a gangly 17-year-old by the name of Gianluigi Buffon made his professional debut for Parma.

Twenty-two years later and the Italian is still doing the business for a Juventus side that sit top of Serie A and are still on course for a treble. Unlike some goalkeepers whose reactions fade as they age, Buffon is as sharp as ever – although the formidable defence he has in front of him for both club and country no doubt helps.

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