Football can be used for many things; entertainment, socialising, purpose. It is also a good barometer for how old you are/how you're doing in your life i.e. Neymar is 26 and I'm a loser.
But then there are those players that are the idiosyncracies. Like a glitch in the Matrix, you can't believe how young they are. They seem to be on the brink of retirement yet a quick Wikipedia search reveals they have plenty more gas in the tank. Here are 16 players we can't quite believe are under 30.
1. Micah Richards - Born: June 24, 1988 (age 29)
Legend has is Micah Richards sold his soul to the devil in exchange for 5 more years of Championship football.
2. Juan Mata - April 28, 1988 (age 29)
Maybe it's his lack of pace that makes him feel older or the fact he's been in the Premier League so long.
3. Alex Pearce - 9 November 1988 (age 29)
Alex Pearce, always hanging around the Ireland squad yet I can't remember him ever having a game. The lack of game time has added years to his life (in my head).
4. Anthony Pilkington - 6 June 1988 (age 29)
His international exile may have something to do with the perception that he is older than he is. To be honest I regard anyone from the Euro 2012 campaign as a dinosaur now.
5. Anthony Stokes - July 25, 1988 (age 29)
Anthony Stokes was around when God was a boy.
6. David N'Gog - 1 April 1989
28?! 28?! I'm not having that, try 33. The former Liverpool man is currently turning out for Ross County. The mind boggles.
7. David Meyler - 29 May 1989
There's something about certain Irish players, maybe because they are at the forefront of the public consciousness, that makes them seem more 'aged'. Meyler certainly falls into that category. Also The beard doesn't help.
8. Mats Hummels -December 16, 1988 (age 29)
The constant transfer chatter that surrounded Hummels has seen the defender age horribly (in my mind)
9. Lee Cattermole - March 21, 1988 (age 29)
Kenny Dalglish tried to bring the no-nonsense (prone to red cards) midfielder to Liverpool during his tenure. How the man is still under 30 beggars belief.
10. Daniel Sturridge - September 1, 1989 (age 28)
To be fair injuries must have Sturridge at retiring age a this point.
11. Fabio Coentrao - 11 March 1988
Unbelievably still on the books at Real Madrid (albeit on loan) Coentrao has seen a string of loan moves add years to his actual age.
12. Diego Costa - October 7, 1988 (age 29)
Diego Costa looks like a weathered fisherman. And since when did a weathered fisherman look under 30?
13. Troy Deeney - June 29, 1988 (age 29)
Troy Deeney: the Peter Pan of lower to midtable Premier League strikers.
14. Javier Hernandez - June 1, 1988 (age 29)
Sure he may look like he's only just done his first communion but it feels like Chicharito's career should be winding down.
15. Sergio Busquets - July 16, 1988 (age 29)
Feels like Busquets has been around forever. Turns out he's only been around 29 years. Go figure.
16. Nemanja Matic - August 1, 1988 (age 29)
Ousted by Tiemoune Bakayoko at Chelsea, the flagrant ageism shown by Chelsea to the still agile Matic goes some way to explaining why I think he's 34.