Jermain Defoe says older players can draw inspiration from Ryan Giggs
Jermain Defoe points to Ryan Giggs when discussing the modern day player’s increasing longevity.
Manchester United ace Giggs recently signed a new contract at Old Trafford that will take him beyond his 40th birthday.
Defoe is nine years younger than Giggs but says the Welshman is still the player other footballers can learn from.
He said: "Years ago people used to say 'when you get to 30 you only have a couple more years'. But with all the sports science and the recovery work you can play for a lot longer.
"Look at Ryan Giggs. It is unbelievable how he is still playing well at the top level. If you look after yourself it is not a problem."
For the United man, yoga is the key to maintaining the suppleness he needs to be effective.
Defoe, however, addressed his own needs through regular close-season visits to veteran French fitness expert Tiberius Darau, who pushed the forward to the limit.
Defoe admitted: "I have never trained so hard in my life. After a few days I remember thinking 'I don't know if I can do this'.
"It was really intense. I did a lot of gym work on my legs, a lot of power activity. Everything was related to how I play.
"Every time I questioned it internally, I looked at the bigger picture. I knew when I went back to my club I would be sharper than ever. When I came back I felt unbelievable.
"I have always looked after myself. I don't drink. I try to eat the right things. It makes a big difference."
And the extra work paid off as Defoe scored eleven Premier League goals and made five assists for Spurs in 2012-13.
The 30-year-old has also scored four goals in six England games this season and he can look forward to one more international outing before the summer break – against Brazil in Rio.
Defoe added: "It is an unbelievable fixture.
"Brazil are a great football nation. If you look at their history, the players they have produced and World Cups they have won, it is a team you want to play against.
"I remember playing against Brazil for England Schoolboys at Wembley when I was 15.
"Even then it was such a special day. Now at senior level, it will be fantastic."