Former Rangers defender Bruno Alves is still playing at the top level with Serie A club Parma.
The ex-Portugal international was one of many signings made by Pedro Caixinha during his short stint as Gers manager and his capture was seen as something of a coup, given that he had already won league titles in his homeland, Russia and Turkey.
He didn’t have a horror stint at Ibrox but it’s fair to say he didn’t produce his best form across his 25 appearances in Light Blue and his contract was terminated by mutual consent at the end of the forgettable 2017/18 campaign.
Already in his late thirties, it was assumed by some that Alves was close to retiring from the professional game.
However, he was quickly snapped up by then recently-promoted Serie A side Parma on an initial one-year deal, which has since been extended twice.
Remarkably, at 39, Alves is currently skippering the side and coming up against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku on a regular basis.
The former Ger tested positive for Covid-19 in October [Football Italia] and missed three league matches as a result. Yet, he has played the full 90 minutes in all 14 of Parma’s other fixtures so far this season.
Jermain Defoe is rightly praised for his ability to perform in a bit-part role for the Gers aged 38, but the fact that Alves is a year older and still playing week in week out in a top-five European league is frankly incredible.
Things aren’t going well for Parma in terms of results right now. They have lost their last five Serie A matches and haven’t won in eight, ensuring they are currently second bottom of the table.
Alves still has plenty of time to help turn things around, though, and a win at Sassuolo next weekend could be enough to take ‘The Crusaders’ out of the relegation zone.