Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that a player’s career in the top European leagues finished when he turns 34.
The Frenchman made the comments in an interview with the Arsenal Magazine while discussing how the likes of Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Nicolas Anelka and Mikel Silvestre have prolonged their careers in the newly-formed Indian Super League.
‘You have two steps', said Wenger. 'Being completely at the top finishes when you are 34 at the latest. After that, you have different leagues like the MLS and the Indian league.
'I encourage players to play as long as possible if they really love it. Pires is 40 but he still plays and when he comes to training here, he’s still very good.
'They give a good image of the game. They can make football popular on different continents and in different countries, where it’s taking off. I think it’s fantastic'.
What Wenger suggests has become a common phenomenon. Top Europe-based players do tend to move to the MLS when they close in on their mid-30s. Playing in Europe’s top five leagues is very tough when one hits 30.