Serie A old boys showing no signs of slowing

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A recent survey has claimed that Italy is becoming an ageing population and the current generation are not doing their bit to produce upstanding citizens for the future.

The upshot is that everyone is going to have to work longer before they can head off into “happy” retirement.

Good news then for Alessandro Del Piero, who fits the demographic of the modern Italian perfectly: early 30s, married, one very young child.

And the Juventus captain is willing to keep working until his legs finally give out.

Del Boy: Keen to continue until ripe old age of 40 

In fact, Pinturicchio, who will be 34 in November, expects to play on until he is 40. If he manages the feat then he certainly will call it a day a very contended man.

He may be sporting less hair than that fresh-faced kid who made his Juve debut back in 1993 but he is coming off a vintage season at club level, finishing Serie A top goalscorer and taking the Old Lady back into the Champions League.

Maybe now, he will show some maturity and call it a day at international level but there seems little hope of that until Marcello Lippi finally drops him once and for all.

After all, it was this time last year that it looked as if the number 10 was heading for the Turin exit door as the star and the club hierarchy became involved in a Mexican stand-off over a new contract.

In the end, the veteran proved he was just as big as the club and landed a deal until 2010.

Now as he enters his 16th campaign and racks up another record - surpassing Juve granddads Giampiero Boniperti and Beppe Furino, 15 years in the black and white - it’s a matter of each year as it comes.

“If I continue to feel the way I do and I have the same motivation then I could play on for another six or seven years,” he maintained.

So as Del Piero squints towards that distant horizon when he no longer can call himself a professional footballer, another legend is about to finally run aground.

Paolo Maldini was 40 back in June and apart from a gammy knee, looks in rude health: there has to be something said about the Mediterranean diet.

Maldini: Back for another year at ripe old age of 40 

Well, of course, it’s more than just mamma’s cooking – and as with Del Boy, it’s that motivation and enthusiasm that keeps him in the game at the cusp of middle-age.

It may also be something else and something that any player must one day confront: just what will I do next? 

The defender was all set to call it a day at the end of last term but the thought of endless rounds on the golf course or hanging about at his holiday home in Miami brought him back for a 20th year.

That man in perpetual motion, Javier Zanetti, is another who is keeping father time at bay, having just signed a new three-year deal with Inter at the ripe old age of 35.

So, for the old masters of Serie A it’s a matter of keep shining those boots although tying the laces may become a problem.