The saying old is gold holds true in Italian Serie A as the beautiful game’s veterans are exciting television audiences with their performances.
Serie A is renowned for its technical approach to football. The defenders are more nuanced in their approach and getting past them is a difficult task to say the least.
This is the difficult task Cristiano Ronaldo signed up for when he joined in €100 million transfer.
He was saying goodbye to the prolific La Liga. His first season in Italian top flight football showed that even he is susceptible to changes in environment. However, in his second season is proving his mettle.
But in Serie A, at 35, Ronaldo is not the only experienced campaigned. He is in the company of greats. The league welcomes experiences and its mix with youth provides scintillating performances.
Here are three veterans of the game who are still going strong in Serie A.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has travelled everywhere during his playing days. After his prolific stint with LA Galaxy, a move to Sweden before hanging up his boots was available. But the towering Swede decided it was not the time.
He returned to AC Milan to give the ailing giants one final push. His return to San Siro has helped them avert disaster and look to the future with hope.
With four goals in 10 games, Zlatan is still going strong, three of them coming in Serie A. Not a bad tally for the lumbering giant who turned 38 last October.
You will be forgiven to think that Goran Pandev has retired. After winning the treble with Inter Milan, he has travelled a lot. He called Napoli his home for three years and then journeyed to Turkey with Galatasaray.
For the last five years, Pandev has been on the books of Genoa. Like a fine wine, the Macedonian has improved with every passing year.
The current season has been his best in Genoa colors, becoming a mainstay of Davide Nicola’s side. He has struck the back of the net 7 times from his withdrawn supporting role, his best form in 12 years.
While Arjen Robben decided to retire after his contract concluded at Bayern Munich, Franck Ribery decided to carry on. Fiorentina gave him the chance to play in Serie A and he took them on the option.
The French winger continues to dazzle despite losing his pace. But his trickery on the ball is still there. Lazio defense would attest to this, as Ribery tricked his way past three defenders to give La Viola the lead against the Romans.
Ribery has been marred by injury issues but there is no denying the fact that whenever available, he remains a joy to watch.