The A-League’s top 5 veterans of all-time

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Some great veterans have graced the A-League over the years, making it hard to choose the top five.

However, here is a list of the top five veterans to play in Australia’s top league over the years.

A veteran, in this definition, is a player 35 years and above.

5. Alessandro Diamanti

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Diamanti is arguably the best player in the league. At 38-years-old he does not look off the pace at all and can dictate a game with ease.

His wand of a left foot causes defences nightmares and is a true game winner for Mark Rudan’s side. His set piece prowess also is a thing of beauty and the Italian maestro is a true joy to watch, even for opposition fans.

Diamanti was so good in his first season that he was awarded the Johnny Warren Medal.

4. Patrick Zwaanswijk

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Zwaanswijk arrived in Australia as a 35-year-old and brought with him a wealth of experience, with over 300 Eredivisie games.

At 38 he retired from the game, having helped the Central Coast Mariners to finally break their championship duck. During his time in Gosford he scored 11 goals as well, including one in the 2012/13 Grand Final.

He was a crowd favourite and was cornerstone of Graham Arnold’s side’s, at times, impenetrable defensive unit. The big Dutchman had a hammer of a left foot and was known for his ability to ping a diagonal ball.

Zwaanswijk also played a massive role in developing two of Australia’s best centre backs over the last decade. Firstly, Alex Wilkinson and secondly, Trent Sainsbury.

3. Diego Castro

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Castro’s pedigree is undeniable. He has been one of the league’s premier players since his debut in 2015 and has been an exceptional return on investment for Perth Glory.

Scoring 46 goals in 116 games thus far, the Spaniard has a great goals per game record for a midfielder. He also was awarded the 2015/16 Johnny Warren Medal in his debut season.

His exceptional performances have also been rewarded by the team, with Castro being awarded the captaincy.

2. Alessandro Del Piero

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Del Piero is probably the biggest name to play in the A-League having won the 2006 World Cup with Italy. He also won Player of the Season in Serie A twice in 1998 and 2008 respectively.

On his arrival, the former Juventus man was 37 years of age, however that was no imposition on his ability on the pitch.

In his first season Del Piero was immense. He scored 14 goals in 24 games and played some eye-catching football. A joy to watch for all fans in the league throughout his two seasons, where he finished up with 24 goals in 48 games.

1. Milos Ninkovic

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Ninkovic has been one of the league’s most consistent performers in his six years for Sydney FC.

At the age of 36 he is still producing quality performances week in, week out, and has earnt the final spot ahead of some perhaps bigger names.

The Serbian maestro was the first Sydney FC player to win the Johnny Warren Medal. This came in in the 2016/17 season. In that season he also scored the winning penalty in the grand final.

He has so far scored 34 goals for the Sky Blues in 166 games and will go down in the club’s folklore.

Feature Image Credit: Vision Inspired Photography

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