Five former Premier League players you didn't know were still playing


As former Middlesbrough flop Massimo Maccarone finds the net for Empoli, we list five other ex-Premier League players you might have forgotten about.

After leaving the bright lights of the Premier League some veteran players return to their first clubs, others chase a big payday and some retire altogether.

Middlesbrough fans may have been surprised to hear that Italian marksman Massimo Maccarone is still going and, at the age of 35, just scored an excellent goal for Empoli in Serie A.

Here are five other ex-Premier League players you'd be forgiven for thinking had retired:

1. YAKUBU AIYEGBENI - Al Rayyan (Qatar)

These days Portsmouth's top scorer in the Premier League, who also represented Middlesbrough, Everton, Leicester City and Blackburn, is plying his trade in Qatar for Al Rayyan having moved there from Chinese side Guangzhou R&F in January. Amazingly, Yakubu is still only 31 despite having played for 11 clubs and he poses a significant goal threat, especially since Al Rayyan were relegated from Qatar's top division last season and must compete in the Qatargas League.

2. JEREMIE ALIADIERE - Umm Salal SC (Qatar)

A much maligned Arsenal signing, winger / striker Aliadière only managed one goal and 29 appearances for the Gunners between 2001 and 2007. He tried his luck at Celtic, West Ham and Wolves with not much success before joining Middlesbrough where he at least managed to slap Javier Mascherano during a game against Liverpool in 2008. Injuries eventually derailed his career and he moved to FC Lorient, allegedly helped by Arsene Wenger. In France, Aliadière found some form but he joined Qatari club Umm Salal in the summer at the age of 31. 

3. TUNCAY SANLI - Umm Salal SC (Qatar)

The Turkish international won admirers with his excellent performances at Fenerbahce and eventually joined Middlesbrough. He was the second top scorer in his first season and was truly exceptional in the 2008-09 campaign, winning all the major awards at the club's end of season ceremony. Tuncay became a fan favourite but he couldn't prevent Boro's relegation to the Championship. After spells at Stoke, Wolfsburg and Bolton on loan, Tuncay went back to Turkey and Bursaspor before being lured to Qatar and Umm Salal.

4. PASCAL CHIMBONDA - Oikonomos Tsaritsani (Greece)

The former Wigan, Tottenham and Sunderland defender won headlines when it emerged he had been playing for Market Drayton Town in the confusingly named Northern Premier League Division One South. After an abortive attempt to join Tranmere and a fleeting spell at Carlisle, Chimbonda ended up at Greek second division side Oikonomos Tsaritsani at the age of 35.

5. JULIO ARCA - Willow Pond FC (England)

This one might not count exactly, but former Sunderland and Middlesbrough player Julio Arca is running out for pub side Willow Pond FC. Arca had to retire from professional football due to a toe injury but the former Argentina Under-20 captain doesn't want to stop playing entirely and plays for a team where he must pay £3.50 subs each week. The unusual transfer came about because Arca knows one of the team's players who suggested he come and play but he may also have been lured by the decent chance of getting the free pint offered to Man of the Match each week

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch