The Arsenal and France international star Laurent Koscielny can thank his lucky stars that he turned out to be a defender, and a central defender at that, because only goal keepers have a longer shelf life as professional footballers than centre backs.
Koscielny is determined to eke out every precious moment of his playing career, and who can blame him as he is one of those rare players in the modern game that has worked their way right up to the very top from the bottom rung of the ladder.
On the eve of his 30th birthday, Koscielny must be very proud of the way he stuck in and worked hard to work his way from the third tier of French football (roughly equivalent to a drunken kickabout on a Spanish beach) to the heights of the Premier League and back to back FA cup trophy wins.
Far from resting on his laurels, though, the combative Frenchman is looking ahead and is determined to carry on for many years. He knows that he will have to look after himself and adapt his training methods as he gets older, but he is confident that his time in the Arsenal first team is far from being over.
Koscielny told Arsenal Player, “Footballer or not, after 30 is a big part of your life. For a footballer it is important as you are closer to the end of your career than you are to the start. But, I feel like a young man.
“I’m nearly 30 but my body is ready to play more games, just the age has changed. I try to work hard and to be ready for training and the games and when you are older you need to work harder in training before the session and after.
“I can see the older players like Petr Cech or Mikel Arteta before and after training and it can help [extend] your career [to work hard like them].
“I think it is true because you have played a lot of games before and you are more experienced. When you play in the Premier League against a lot of big teams and in the Champions League every game can help you to be better.”
Arsenal fans are certainly hoping that Kos the boss is around for many more years as he has overcome a shaky start at the club to be undoubtedly our best defender and one of the best in the EPL. So enjoy your birthday Laurent, but go easy on the cake and champagne will you?