James Milner ‘could play in the Premier League at 40’ claims ex-Manchester City team-mate Micah Richards, who backs the Liverpool midfielder, 35, to follow Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s lead
- James Milner was 35 on January 4 and has 18 months to go on his Liverpool deal
- His ex-Manchester City team-mate Micah Richards hailed his professionalism
- Richards believes Milner could follow Zlatan Ibrahimovic and play up to 40
Micah Richards has backed his former Manchester City team-mate James Milner to follow Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s lead and play late into his 30s and beyond.
Ibrahimovic, 39, is currently at AC Milan and has scored 11 goals in as many games for the Italians this season and they currently sit top of the Serie A standings by three points. He turns 40 on October 3, while his current Milan deal expires on
Milner turned 35 on January 4 and has a contract at Anfield that runs until the summer of 2022. Richards backs the versatile midfielder to enjoy many more years in professional football before he hangs up his boots.
Micah Richards has paid a glowing tribute to Liverpool midfield player James Milner
Richards won the Premier League title alongside James Milner while at Manchester City
‘I have been around some unbelievable players at club and international level, but he is one of the most inspirational people I have met,’ Richards wrote in his BBC Sport column. ‘Milner can do it all, but that’s not the only reason he has had a long and successful career. His mindset is astonishing; he never has a day off.
‘I know he’s had a few little niggling injuries recently, but he’s still as fit as ever. And that is not down to luck – it is because of hard work and his total dedication to his career since he made his Premier League debut for Leeds in 2002, aged 16.
‘Whenever I’m asked about the level of professionalism every player should aspire to, I use him as the example. He doesn’t drink alcohol and he is probably fitter now than I was in my prime.
‘There’s no sign of him stopping, either. He left City for Liverpool in 2015 for more game time, and he still has that hunger.
Milner turned 35 on January 4 and has 18 months remaining on his current Liverpool contract
Richards said that Milner could keep playing until his late 30s, like Zlatan Ibrahimovic
‘Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is one of those players who can just keep on going. I honestly think Milner could still be playing in the Premier League aged 40, if he wants to.’
Liverpool are currently in the middle of a three-game winless run and could be dislodged from top spot in the Premier League table on Tuesday night if Manchester United get a draw against Burnley at Turf Moor.
Liverpool then host United at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday.
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