Having won five league titles in two countries, a Champions League and the Copa America twice, Ze Roberto could have been forgiven for thinking his football career would be the best days of his life.
But at nearly 48, the former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star – who also played alongside Ronaldo and Ronaldinho at international level with Brazil – shows that age is no barrier to achieving his goals. Goals.
Since quitting playing he has become a personal trainer and defies logic with his ripped physique, although he is clearly keen on his fitness, having only retired from football in 2017.
But what are the secrets of its success these days?
Speaking in March, he told Sky Sports: “I never stopped training”, insisting he could still play at the highest level if he wanted to.
“If I had to wear the [Manchester] City shirt today, in the physical condition I am in and with the way they play, I think I could easily play central midfield for them because they are a team that never loses the ball.
Speaking in his native country, he said of his lifestyle: “I have no vices. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, I eat very well, I sleep well.
“I have my family, which is my greatest security. I think those are important factors in reaching my age and continuing to play at a high level.
And Ze Roberto believes he has a better physique than Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, who set the benchmark for footballing fitness levels during his illustrious career.
However, he wouldn’t let the Portugal captain and the greatest international footballer of all time slip past him.
He told TyC Sports: “Today I would say I have a better physique because I played until I was 43.
“If he does [play until then]I would say it’s him.
However, he doesn’t see it happening due to the Man United star’s desire to stay at the top level.
“Cristiano is, for me, a machine,” he added in his interview with Sky Sports. “But I don’t think he will go to 40 again because he is a player who has always played at the highest level, always winning trophies and always trying to be the best player in the world.
“But in the last two years we have seen that he hasn’t been able to do that with Juventus and now with Manchester United. The best proof of that is that he hasn’t been in the two or top three players for individual big prizes.
“He’s still an expensive player, but as someone used to competing at such a high level, there will come a time when he decides it’s better to quit than look for something that won’t be the same. . .”
Ze Roberto started his career as an attacking left-back and then an attacking midfielder, but enjoyed a run in the Brazilian national team as a holding midfielder.
He ended up playing 84 times for his country and was part of the 1998 and 2006 World Cup squads.
“One of the goals I had when I started playing in Brazil was to one day play for a big European club, because that would allow me to wear the Brazil shirt and have a chance to represent my country. at a World Cup. When you have a clear idea of your goals, you automatically start working towards them.”
After spending his career in Europe at Real Madrid in 1997 under Fabio Capello, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Hamburg, his last club was Palmeiras in his native country in 2017.
Yet talkSPORT sees your 48, Mr Roberto, and raises you a Ray Parlor at 49.
The Arsenal legend – nicknamed the ‘Romford Pele’ – has shown he is still in top form and has been known to enjoy a ‘cobra bomb’ or two.
talkSPORT LIVE – Don’t miss Brazil and Parlor!
Alan Brazil and Ray Parlor wowed audiences across the country this year with their hilarious double act, live on stage.
It’s your last chance to get tickets for the last show of the tour, in Nottingham.
Both have lived their lives to the fullest both during their playing days and afterwards during and after their talkSPORT radio show!
Hear the two legends tell stories from the dressing room, the studio, their playing days, their journeys on international duty… and of course Cheltenham!
The shows will be hosted by talkSPORT’s Shebahn Aherne.
Do not miss a good evening belt. Click on the link HERE to buy your tickets.