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11 legends of the game you had no idea were still playing

What do you think Diego Forlan did with his spare time in Hong Kong?

“He’s still playing?”

Nothing stirs our cold, cold hearts like finding out a player we thought had retired years is still lacing up his boots every weekend.

Here we present to you 11 players you had *no idea* were still playing.

Okay, given that you’re passionate football fan you probably did know about a few, but hopefully some surprise you…

1 Diego Forlan

He’s not giving up on that barnet

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He’s not giving up on that barnet

The former Villarreal and Atletico Madrid goal machine clung onto the dream in Hong Kong until as recently as May this year.

Apparently his salary was a tightly-kept secret but the 38-year-old Uruguayan drew a crowd and sold more than his fair share of shirts.

He scored five goals (including a hat-trick) as Kitchee retained their Hong Kong Premier League title but some were left underwhelmed by his efforts.

Forlan hasn’t renewed his contract… but he hasn’t hung up his boots either.

2 Joe Cole

This is the only photo we could find, Sorry Joe…

AFP - Getty
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This is the only photo we could find, Sorry Joe…

The man Steven Gerrard once said was as good as Lionel Messi.

36-year-old Cole is seeing out his final days with Tampa Bay Rowdies in the second tier of US football.

He was briefly team-mates with notorious Football Manager wonderkid/vacuum cleaner salesman Freddy Adu.

3 Robbie Keane

A proper journeyman’s journeyman

AP:Associated Press
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A proper journeyman’s journeyman

Determined to boast one of the strangest career paths ever, Keane signed for Indian Super League club Atletico de Kolkata in 2017.

The Irish forward cartwheeled inside a 85,000-seater stadium as player-manager for brief stint after Teddy Sheringham was sacked as boss.

He’s since left but hasn’t officially announced his retirement.

4 Rafael van der Vaart

That smile…

Reuters
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That smile…

The first ever winner of the prestigious Golden Boy award warmed Midtylland’s bench last season, the Danish club of Man United conquering fame.

The 35-year-old was regarded as a ‘flop’ by the local press but the Dutchman has refused to succumb to Old Father Time.

He recently joined Esbjerg fB, who we’re fairly certain have never had an ex-Real Madrid player in their ranks previously…

5 Bastian Schweinsteiger

Ageing gracefully… kind of

AFP or licensors
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Ageing gracefully… kind of

The 2014 World Cup-winning hero is with Chicago Fire in MLS.

His knees aren’t what they used to be and they sometimes play him at centre-back.

6 Ashley Cole

Hollywood hero

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Hollywood hero

Zlatan’s transfer to LA Galaxy reminded us that not only does Ashley Cole exist, he’s still putting in a shift at left-back.

Once the best player in the world in his position, the 37-year-old chips in with his fair share of assists — with Zlatan often the main beneficiary.

A match made in nostalgic heaven.

7 Lucio

This one is wild.

The Brazilian centre-back, formerly of Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, is currently on the books of Brasiliense in Brazil.

39-years-young — we honestly thought he retired at least four years ago.

8 David Villa

What a magnificent human being

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What a magnificent human being

Most of you were probably vaguely aware that the Spaniard is still plundering goals stateside.

The New York City forward recently became one of six active players with 400+ career goals to his name, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez and…

9 Samuel Eto’o

Casual wear

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Casual wear

The Cameroonian prince.

The Turkish league is a perfectly respectable standard and so many of you will have seen Eto’o’s name crop up now and then for Konyaspor last season.

In true ageing legend fashion, he’s now stacking the notes with Qatar SC.

10 Didier Drogba

It may also have escaped your attention that he is now bald

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It may also have escaped your attention that he is now bald

The Ivory Coast legend has announced his intention to retire from football at the end of the current MLS season but for now he’s still plugging away.

The 40-year-old has gone one further than player-manager at Phoenix Rising, he’s player-owner of the second tier club.

Drogba has bullied his way to 14 goals in 19 games since crossing the pond and is still an outstanding athlete.

He plans to retire at the end of the current MLS season.

11 Florent Malouda

The 38-year-old winger currently plays for FC Differdange 03 in Luxembourg.

Get your head around around that.


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