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they are over 35, these “grandpas” who are resisting

José Fonte (Lille), Jimmy Briand (Bordeaux) and Adil Rami (Troyes). Panoramic

Indispensable, substitutes, set aside or injured, veterans are numerous in Ligue 1 this season.

In the offseason, Ligue 1 lost its oldest player. Vitorino Hilton, 43, hung up his boots, at least for a while. However, the veterans are still very present in the French elite, like Jimmy Briand, recently released from the cellar and who faces Paris Saint-Germain this Saturday evening. Small review – not exhaustive – of players aged over 35 who are still playing in the French championship.

The indispensable

Many, despite the weight of the years, are still indispensable in their team. At LOSC, Burak Yilmaz and Jose Fonte, respectively 36 years old and 37 years old, and essential in the conquest of the 2020-2021 title, remain essential. The arrival of Jocelyn Gourvennec in place of Christophe Galtier has changed nothing. Admittedly, the Turkish center-forward is going through a slightly less prosperous period, but his impact on the Mastiffs is still just as strong. As for the Portuguese central defender, considered one of the best in his position in France for several seasons, his experience is still appreciated. Its use attests to this. Since the start of the new fiscal year, he has played every minute of all matches; all, cuff on arm.

Another central defender plays a vital role in his team. It is Dante (38), who is making a remarkable and encouraging start to the season with OGC Nice. The Brazilian veteran, long unavailable in 2020-2021, is one of the basic men of Christophe Galtier, very happy to be able to count on such an experienced and intelligent player to control his defense. At Racing Club de Lens, Jean Louis Leca (36), very good on his line and author of many salutary stops, is no stranger to the excellent performance of his team. Ismael Traorefor its part, is still, at 35, one of the most beautiful symbols of the slab angevine.

SEE AS ​​WELL – The incredible impact of Burak Yilmaz in Lille

Complement Players

Some veterans are not indisputable starters but have playing time that allows them to shine despite everything. This is the case of Yannick Cahuzac (8 appearances) who – at 36 – is regularly sent onto the lawn by Franck Haise to bring all his gritted to Blood and Gold. The Lorientais Jerome Hergault (4 matches), 35, is in the same situation. At Les Merlus, Christophe Pélissier uses him above all as a complementary player. At Stade Rennais, Romain Salin, 37, is also content with crumbs. The French goalkeeper is the understudy of Alfred Gomis and has played only one meeting in 2021-2022.

The case ofAdil Rummy (35 years) is a little more complex. The former Lille and Olympique de Marseille player joined ESTAC late. But since he is in physical condition to play, Laurent Batlles gives him his confidence to supervise the Trojan team, for the most part inexperienced in the first division. If it continues its momentum, there is no doubt that it will switch in the coming weeks in the category of essentials. Finally, let us quote Jimmy Briand (36), who gave victory to the Girondins de Bordeaux against Stade de Reims last week after a start to the season marked by (very) limited playing time.

Those who are shelved

Other veterans are in the cellar. They are basically goalkeepers. The best known of them is none other than Steve Mandanda (36 years). Considered a legend on the Canebière, and indisputable in recent seasons, “Il Fenomenosaw his status completely changed by the arrival of Pau Lopez. Desired by Jorge Sampaoli, the Spanish goalkeeper has relegated his experienced colleague to the substitutes’ bench since the beginning of September.

jessy mill, 35, who had the opportunity to play a string of matches last season at Saint-Etienne after Stéphane Ruffier was sidelined, left Forez this summer to join Aube. Lining for Gauthier Gallon at ESTAC, he still hasn’t had the opportunity to wear the Trojan jersey in official competition. In the East, Eiji Kawashima (37), replacing Matz Sels, is experiencing exactly the same situation. For his part, the old veteran Nicolas Penneteau, returned to France during the transfer market after a long experience in Belgium, at RCS Charleroi. But at the Stade de Reims, the ex-Bastiais occupies the function of third goalkeeper and should therefore not set foot on a Ligue 1 lawn again.

Those who spend time in the infirmary

Finally, some of the oldest players in the French top flight spend a lot of time in the infirmary. How not to think about Sergio Ramos (35 years) ? Arrived at Paris Saint-Germain free after the end of his contract with Real Madrid, the illustrious Spanish central defender was supposed to bring the Rouge et Bleu to a level in terms of character and mentality. So far, this is not the case since he is still not physically fit to play a match. The four-time Champions League winner hopes to return to competition after the international break. Jeremy Morel (37) has already played three matches this season. But a muscle injury sidelined him for long weeks.



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