Football is a very physically demanding sport. Some players bloom psg kit 8 year old early, and some burgeon into their best versions a bit late, but the shelf life of athletes is rather short. That has a lot to do with the level of competitiveness at the highest level as well.
Every player reaches a point in their careers where they can no longer perform as well as they used to. As hard as they may try, their bodies will no longer be in a state to match the will of the mind. It happens gradually with most players but with some, the decline is rapid.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five world-class stars who are past their prime and will never be back to their best again.
#5 Paul Pogba (France/Juventus)
Paul Pogba was an early bloomer. He created a reputation for himself as one of the most elegant and flamboyant midfielders in Europe during his first stint with Juventus. After winning four Serie A titles and two Coppa Italias with the Bianconeri, Pogba returned to his former club Manchester United in 2016.
At United, he showed glimpses of his genius but failed to produce the goods on football kit messi a consistent basis. He played a major role in France's 2018 FIFA World Cup triumph and it looked like we were starting to see the best of the Frenchman.
However, niggling injury issues and disciplinary problems kept Pogba from reaching the heights he was expected to. In his final season at Manchester United, Pogba struggled for fitness and proved to be a poor fit in central midfield due tgo his inferior work rate.
The 29-year-old returned to Juventus this past summer but picked up a knee injury and had to undergo surgery. He is waiting to return to the pitch but the 29-year-old is extremely unlikely to match the performance levels of his first Juve stint.
#4 N'Golo Kante (France/Chelsea)
N'Golo Kante was one of the chief driving forces behind Leicester City's historic Premier League triumph in the 2015-16 season. The Frenchman left the club the very same summer and joined Chelsea and helped them win the Premier League title in the following season.
Kante is one of the most dogged defensive midfielders in the history of the sport. His game intelligence and positional awareness have simply been world-class. He is so defensively astute that the heft of the praise it fetches causes the other facets of his game to be often overlooked.
Kante is a tidy passer as well and is very good at bringing the ball forward. He was arguably France's most important player in their triumphant run at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Kante turned in multiple man-of-the-match performances in the knockout stages of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League as Chelsea were crowned European champions. He was named the 'UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Year' that term.
Kante, however, has faded since that summer. He has struggled with injuries of late and psg jersey xl is simply not as effective as he used to be in midfield anymore. The Frenchman is 31-years-old now and is not getting back to his best again.
#3 Philippe Coutinho (Brazil/Aston Villa)
Philippe Coutinho played the best football of his career during his time with Liverpool between 2013 and 2018. At the peak of his powers, Coutinho was the best attacking midfielder in the English top flight. He was nimble-footed, techni psg jersey 2022-2023 away cally blessed and possessed unreal vision and an incredible passing range.
Coutinho could also let fly from distance and find the back of the net on a consistent basis. However, following a big-money move to Barcelona halfway through the 2017-18 season, Coutinho struggled to hit those heights. Extensively played out of position and forced to shoulder the burden of a €135 million price tag, Coutinho crum psg away kit messi bled.
He had a decent loan spell at Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 season but was deemed surplus to requirements at Barca following his return to the Camp Nou. He is now an Aston Villa player and after starting off on a bright note, Coutinho seems to be gradually fading into obscur psg shirts 01 ity once again.
He is yet to score or assist in 10 Premier League appearances so far this season and is struggling for form.
Coutinho might yet be able to deliver the goods for Villa at some point this season but he is not going to get back to his dominant best again. He is simply a far cry from the player who used to light up the Premier League for Liverpool.
#2 Eden Hazard (Belgium/Real Madrid)
Eden Hazard is a great example for a player whose decline was surprisingly rapid. Hazard established himself as one of the finest attackers in Premier League history during his time with Chelsea. He won two Premier League titles, two Europa League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup with the Blues.
He was also the named the 'PFA Players' Player of the Year' in the 2014-15 season. In his final season with Chelsea (2018-19), the Belgium international scored 21 goals and provided 17 assists in 52 appearances across all competitions.
He has been a shadow of his former self at Real Madrid. Hazard's struggles with fitness and niggling injury issues have kept him out of the team for long spells. In 71 appearances across all competitions for Real Madrid over three and a half seasons, Hazard has scored just seven goals and provided 11 assists.
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Manchester United)
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has lost the status of a guaranteed starter at the age of 37. It took an incredibly long time for the Portuguese icon to finally be displaced from the first team of any side he has played for.
Ronaldo is simply not the force of nature he used to be. Don't get us wrong. He is still a skilled marksman and can so often be the difference maker at the highest level. But Ronaldo just doesn't have the legs or the lungs to do it week in and week out anymore.
He has started just two Premier League games so far this term for Manchester United. In 12 appearances across all competitions so far this season, Ronaldo has scored two goals and provided one assist.
He has been demoted to the bench due to his inability to press opposition defenders for extended periods. Ronaldo cuts a frustrated figure these days as he does not seem willing to accept his role as a substitute. It may just also be that one of the all-time greats of the sport is in denial as his best days are well behind him.