In today’s sport, and even more so in football, the old stereotypes about the 30-year-old barrier seem to be something to say goodbye to, as are those about youngsters, who are now younger than ever.
Things are changing so much that 30-year-olds are not only fit for the couch, nor are 17/18-year-olds wasting time in the youth teams.
Look at Luka Modric. He was born in 1985, but who cares? He is an example for kids who are starting out. At 35, he’s a player you would pay the entrance fee to see.
He couldn’t do things better. He has talent, style, quality and maturity. He’s not selfish, and he constantly moves the ball on. He’s a showman, and his legs don’t look tired. He’s always positioned well, he intercepts the ball and plays it fluently. He doesn’t have to ask for the ball, because it’s given to him. Nothing he does on the pitch makes him seem 35 years old, but he is.
Watching Modric is like watching a show. He’s an essential player who has to be renewed, for more than one season. At the moment, he’s showing he still has 90 minutes in him, though maybe not in every single game.
He himself knows that in Madrid, surrounded by great players, he and they become even better.
With the market not exactly full of bargains, older and younger players are all the more important. It’s a new challenge for modern day coaches.