Friday, 11 February 2011

Age does not matter

When you pass the 30 in Spain, you look like an old
Luis Figo, a former player in Sport Bild

These are the words of Luis Figo, Maradona and season and a half ago, which now has 38 springs and left the Spanish league to San Siro for 32 years, where he maintained an excellent level in his first two seasons as a player for Inter then go gradually declining performance. But we will not discuss his career but his words. Beyond their situation, they can think and reason you do not miss the Portuguese.

Figo compare the mentality of the Spanish and Italian leagues, two races living at different times in terms of competitiveness and resources. Not on the parné in Spain, but there, especially in the two larger, more purchasing power in a calcium that longs for the good times of the nineties when it was considered the best league in the world. Now things are different and the Italian league saving lives and times of recession. This means that some clubs, and is mainly striking the case of Milan, bet on players and veterans who gave their best years and can be cheaper. "Purely financial question or even sports?

In the case of Italy, which refers to Figo, both, but if we look beyond the Alpine country in other leagues we see that the seniority and experience are virtues recognized that over the years and experiences in the field give a plus the skill of a player and when this happens, the age at which your card is not important. Here we have to Manchester, where Giggs and Scholes (37 and 36 years) remain important and where Gary Neville just retired with 35. Or Chelsea, where Drogba and Lampard remain vital for 32 years.

The youth is a virtue: the hunger for success and optimum health without the burden of years in the legs so tight schedules like these are aspects to consider. But the experience they offer those seasoned players in a thousand battles, its poise and its response to difficult situations are no less positive for a team. Also represent a mirror in which the young can look. Both complement and even needed, and a proper mixture of both can result in a balanced team.

Inter is the paradigm that the veteran is a degree. Last year he was champion of all with a roster full of players with extensive experience: Julio Cesar (31), Chivu (30), Samuel (32), Cordoba (34), Lucio (30), Zanetti (37), Cambiasso ( 30), Stankovic (32) or Milito (32) are important examples, which were complemented by Etoo, Motta or Sneijder. Yet in Spain itself there is a sense that the arrival of the thirty necessarily entails a drop in performance. You look at the players with other eyes, so to speak.

Cost to renew the contract of a player who is past that age and sign a player who has reached thirty. It is shocking in a league where the short-term raw immediacy, where the projects hardly exist. The figures speak for themselves: in the market last summer, only nineteen players, a low percentage, reached or exceeded thirty.

Players like Donato Carboni and showed us that even approaching their forties can offer good performance, although these two cases are isolated and this depends largely on how to care for each player. Another example is that of Senna, 32 years gave us a great tournament. It's a matter of habit, and in the Spanish league some habits lie on bases difficult to understand. And if you hear out there otherwise might ignore: in the league, age matters.

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