There are 13 players we will not consider are nonetheless taking part in in South America

There are few extra pleasurable issues in football than watching a storied veteran back years; strolling across the park, barking directions for half-age youngsters. And if you need veterans, then South America is the place to look.

Having spent their peak years in Europe, most of the continent’s best jets are back home to eat just a few extra seasons. For some, it’s experiencing a second life. For others, it’s the kiss of death.

Right here now we have introduced collectively 13 acquainted names who’re nonetheless doing the enterprise – or not, because the case could also be – on the opposite side of the Atlantic.

Abel Hernandez

He managed 20 goals for Hull City as they received promotion from the Championship in 2015-16, however Hernandez’s 16 throughout three Premier League seasons suggests England’s top flight is a step too far for him.

Cameron Jerome from Uruguayan, you would possibly say.

He left Yorkshire in 2018 and after intervals with CSKA Moscow and Al-Ahli, now, nonetheless solely 30 years old (!), Finds himself in southern Brazil with Internacional.

Introduced in as emergency injury cowl for fellow veteran Paolo Guerrero, although not at all times a primary selection, Hernandez is a part of a powerful squad and closes in on the primary national top tier title of his career .

After scoring within the derby against Gremio in January 2021, he said: “When Paolo comes back, the membership must make a decision.”

Paolo Guerrero

Hernandez was proper: Inter might want to make a decision. Sadly for the Uruguayan, the decision will in all probability imply that he sits on his back on the ‘subs’ bench.

Guerrero, the last time we noticed of him, was nonetheless a machine.

Granted, he is been on the sidelines for some time with a ligament injury to his knee, however earlier than that Peru dominated South America’s defenses, operating behind with the velocity he has let it go and bullying halves center back to goal, swirling of pointed elbows and suspicious neck tattoos.

He by no means achieved his full potential at Bayern Munich, however at his best Guerrero is likely one of the most achieved central strikers within the world.

Luiz Adriano

In February 2021, Luiz Adriano helped fireplace Palmeiras to the Copa Libertadores 2020 title after scoring 5 goals all through the marketing campaign, together with a crucial goal within the semi-final away at Plate River Estadio Monumental.

Regardless of pushing 34, he nonetheless has the velocity and skill that made watching Shakhtar Donetsk a lot enjoyable a decade in the past.

READ: ‘Ketchup’ striker Luiz Adriano tied his Shakthar magic on the Libertadores

Maxi Rodriguez

Argentina Rodriguez is fondly remembered in Liverpool, the place, over two seasons, he turned a little bit of a cult hero on the Kop.

However he is in his hometown membership Newell’s Old Boys the place he is a real fan idol.

Now 40, he has been back in Newell for a third spell since 2019, and in January 2021 the membership introduced that he would title one of many Estadio Marcelo Bielsa stands after him.

There cannot be many players who’ve had the privilege of taking part in in entrance of a terrace named after them.

Roque Santa Cruz

There are seven players within the Olimpia first team squad who weren’t even born when their 39-year-old teammate Roque Santa Cruz made his membership debut in April 1997, almost 24 years in the past.

Santa Cruz, although, is getting stronger than sufficient males half his age. In 2020, he managed seven goals in seven video games as Olimpia finished sixth on the Clausura, making him the main scorer within the competition.

It could have been nearly a decade and a half since he was luring them in for Blackburn and 19 years since he first led the road for Paraguay on the World Cup, however Roque nonetheless is aware of the place the net is.


MemberAlessandro broke by way of as one of many many unlucky young Argentine players who’ve carried the burden of the ‘new Maradona’ tag over the years.

Though he managed a goal-of-the-season contender throughout his transient stint at Portsmouth in 2006, he clearly by no means achieved that – however then there is just one man.

Following his departure from Internacional in December 2020 after 12 wonderful years in Porto Alegre, MemberAlessandro may simply have determined to pack all of it in – he is 39, after all.

As a substitute, it has moved a bit of additional south to Montevideo and reigns Uruguayan Nacional champions. Beloved the sport. Should do.

Ribas Diego

The miniature playmaker, who reached his peak in Europe at Werder Bremen round 2008 earlier than going on to play for Juventus, Wolfsburg and Atletico, is back in his hometown of Brazil taking part in for Rio Flamengo giants.

Within the Copa Libertadores 2019 final, he got here on with 25 minutes to go along with his side dragging River Plate 1-0. He turned the sport along with his penetrating passing and secured the continent’s second crown Rubro-Negro history.

This was a great career crowning moment that ensured he by no means has to purchase one other drink in Rio de Janeiro.

READ: Tribute to Diego, the South American star who was robbed in his European final

Fabricio Coloccini

Between 2008 and 2016, everybody in Newcastle wished “curly hair too”. Why? Fabricio was their hero.

After 275 video games for the Magpies, he moved back to his native Argentina in 2016, signing with one of many 5 Buenos Aires grandes, San Lorenzo.

It has not been great. Accidents have plagued him and performances have been poor of late, whereas trophies have prevented arriving on the membership.

At age 39, Coloccini’s contract expires in June 2021. So if you need one last glimpse of his floppy bobbing pop up and down, it is best to tune in soon.


He could also be much more motionless than when he popped up in West Ham in 2008, however, at 39, the standard stays in Nene’s left chest.

He was the great Fluminense leader in 2020 and began 2021 by hitting the bar from 70 yards.


Some say you possibly can’t carry two veterans in the identical team. We say: garbage.

Alongside Nene at Fluminense is big, bad Fred, the man Alan Shearer famously accused of immobilizing on the 2014 World Cup, inflicting an international row between former Newcastle striker and teammate Dani Alves Fred’s Selecao team.

Admittedly, the World Cup wasn’t the spotlight of Fred’s career, however we are going to at all times have a comfortable spot for him.

His three consecutive French titles in Lyon within the mid-nineties have been great and since transferring home, Fred has develop into the fourth highest scorer in Brazil’s top flight history. Not bad when you think about that Zico is just beneath him.

In 2020, he rode his bike from a lately dropped Cruzeiro back to Fluminense. Actually. He cycled the 600km from Belo Horizonte to Rio to sign the contract. Who’s motionless now, Alan?

READ: Making an attempt to grasp how Fred turned Brazil’s first-choice striker

Diego Cavalieri

Former teammate Fred’s Flu might have spent two and a half seasons at Anfield, however, unable to displace Pepe Reina, barely bought a recreation.

He emerged in England once more in 2018 with Crystal Palace, signed as an emergency cowl, however was soon back to Rio de Janeiro, this time with Botafogo.

It is honest to say it isn’t going to plan. The well-known old membership seems to be doomed to relegation and, barring a miracle, will spend 2021 in Serie B.

Eduardo Vargas

We have been excited when QPR signed Vargas in 2014 after the exploits of our Football Manager had saved, however his time within the Premier League did not precisely go to plan.

Twenty-one video games, three goals and 10 months after he joined, Vargas and QPR have been downgraded. Chile went to Hoffenheim earlier than you can say parachute funds.

After just a few years with Tigres in Mexico, he was reunited in 2020 with Jorge Sampaoli, his former national team boss and love of his life (okay, do not quote us on that second piece), at Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, the place he now performs within the glowing type that fits him so well.

He is solely 31, so we hope to have just a few extra collages in him once more.


Though technically it shouldn’t be on this list after leaving Brazil in early 2021, we couldn’t leave Juanfran out.

One of many cornerstones of Atletico Madrid arrived in Sao Paulo in 2019, eager for a style of the depth and ambiance he heard from his former colleagues at Atletico Madrid.

What he wished was ardour; all he had have been damaged goals.

Enjoying behind the star man and attacking midfielder Dani Alves, Juanfran helped Sao Paulo take the lead on the top of Brasileirao 2020 earlier than some disastrous late-season type noticed them crash out of the title race fully .

Sao Paulo dismissed their manager Fernando Diniz and sports director Rai after a loss to the Atletico Goianiense mountains. Juanfran left the following day.

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