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.

Bruno Alves in Old Firm action for Rangers. (Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

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.

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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.

Parma Calcio v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Former Rangers defender Bruno Alves in Serie A action for Parma against Inter Milan. (Photo by Marco Luzzani – Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

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.

Meanwhile, a mercurial player Steven Gerrard reportedly held transfer talks with in 2019 has had his latest contract terminated.

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