Created on 29-01-2009 at 00:00 AM
Zé Roberto was quick to correct one reporter’s mistake at Thursday’s news conference. “I’m 34, and I’m not 35 until the summer,” the Brazilian pointed out. Be that as it may, Bayern’s oldest outfield player showed again this week that a few extra years have added vintage class and maturity to his game.
Some players fade from the scene when they approach their mid-30s, but Zé Roberto is enjoying the best form of his career right now. The gifted South American has five goals and eight assists so far this term, well on course to beat his personal best of 17 scorer points for FCB from 2002-3, when he was a mere 28 years of age.
“Zé is simply outstanding,” Jürgen Klinsmann declared after Tuesday’s victory in Stuttgart. “He’s training and playing at the highest level.” Zé Roberto himself knows he is an exception to the normal rules. “I don’t see many players of a similar age capable of what I can do. I’m holding up really well.”
Inspired by family
A number of reasons explain the Zé phenomenon. “I make sure I get the rest I need after matches,” the player explained. “He’s a committed family man,” acknowledged Klinsmann, convinced the Brazilian has benefited from ending his international career. “Not flying all over the world with the national team has done him a power of good.”