When a player reaches 29, they start preparing for life after football. It is rare to see a player play up to 39. The few players that fall into this category can be called special.
Not many players have the grace of longevity in the beautiful game, but of the few that make the list, a good number are goalkeepers.
Some of the players that played at the very top till over 35 include Javier Zanetti (41), Ryan Giggs (41), Paolo Maldini (41), Teddy Sheringham (42), Edwin van der Sar (40) and Roberto Baggio (37). Others are Dino Zoff (41), Brad Friedel (44), Essam El Hadary (47), Jussi Jaaskelainen (43), Julio Cesar (39) and Iker Cassilas (39).
Ben Foster has joined a lengthy list of players who retired after a long football career. The former Manchester United goalkeeper has called time on his career following an offer from Newcastle United.
Ben Foster has decided it is time to hang up the gloves after a lengthy career. The Watford goalkeeper, who also played for Manchester United, decided he had had enough, and it was time to move on to other things. The 39-year-old made the announcement this week.
Foster made his retirement announcement on his YouTube channel. The goalkeeper also revealed that he turned down the opportunity to join Newcastle United last week before he decided to quit.
Foster, an avid cyclist, said in a special edition on his YouTube channel FozCast. He told his viewers on his Cycling GK series that he had an announcement to make. The goalkeeper then dropped the bombshell. He said the time had come for him to announce his retirement. According to the goalkeeper, he had a story that explains why he knew it was time to pull the plug on his football career and go into retirement.
According to Foster, he reached an agreement with the Toons, and medicals booked. A sudden thought surge enveloped and overwhelmed him as he ate his dinner, and he decided he was not going to do it. Foster claims that the idea of being away from his family was the reason he decided against the move.
The goalkeeper said he has to be happy and comfortable, and in the prevailing conditions, there was no way he could achieve that being so far from his family. He finalized by saying it would kill him.
Foster has played eight times for the Three Lions after he joined Manchester United from Stoke City as a youngster. While playing for the Red Devils, he made 23 appearances and won the League Cup twice. He also impressed on successive loans at Watford.
Other clubs Foster played for include Tiverton Town (loan), Wrexham (loan), Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion.