Micah Richards, to use his own phrase, really did burst onto the scene.
By the time he was just 20 years old, Richards had made over 50 appearances in the Manchester City first team and had over 10 England caps to his name after breaking Rio Ferdinand’s record as the nation’s youngest ever defender.
As much as Roy Keane would roll his eyes at us saying so: Richards truly was one of the most exciting young prospects to wear three lions on their chest throughout the 2000s.
Who did Richards play for?
However, as we sadly now know, Richards’ early promise didn’t necessarily lead to an exponential growth that soared across the rest of his career as he only represented his country on two more occasions after 2007.
He would remain a positive presence at the Etihad Stadium for a few more years, originally maintaining his starting place despite Sheikh Mansour’s mega-money takeover, but Pablo Zabaleta would eventually establish himself as City’s first-choice right-back.
In the end, Richards won the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup in the sky blue, but was ultimately loaned out to Fiorentina for the 2014/15 season and left the club permanently the following summer.
The Birmingham-born defender made a promising move to Aston Villa, but injuries limited him to just 31 appearances in four years, ultimately leading to his retirement in 2019 at the age of 31.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 05: Micah Richards (L) and Ashley Westwood (R) of Aston Villa react after Machester City’s fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
How old is Micah Richards?
Now, if you’re doing the maths in your head at the moment, it will be dawning on you that Richards is currently 34 years old, which is perhaps younger than you’d anticipated.
Such was the explosiveness and excitement of Richards bursting onto the scene all those years ago that you’d be forgiven for thinking he’d be older than 34 years old given how long he’s been a familiar face in football.
But alas, it’s that exact moment of ‘Is he really that young?’ which came of great amusement to Gary Neville and Roy Keane ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Premier League quiz: Can you name all 40 of these players from the 2010s?
1 of 40
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What did Keane and Neville say about Richards’ age?
During a video feature with SkyBet where the punditry trio filled out their Qatar 2022 wall chart, Richards asked Keane what his first World Cup memory was.
In response, the Manchester United legend cited the 1982 World Cup, which duly opened a can of worms in regards to Richards’ age as he proceeded to chime in that he wasn’t born when the iconic tournament in Spain took place.
Keane seemed well aware that Richards was born after 1982, but less so Neville, who subsequently said: “Were you not? How old are you?”
Richards then called himself a ‘spring chicken’ by first revealing that he was born in 1988 and then clarifying that he was 34 years old, prompting a shocked reaction from Neville who hilariously said: “You should still be f***ing playing! 34! You’ve been a pundit for about 15 years!”
It was at that point that even Keane couldn’t resist cracking a laugh, so be sure to check out the footage for yourself because it’s pure gold.
Video: Gary Neville savages Richards upon finding out he’s 34
How old are Neville and Keane?
For reference, Neville, now 47, hung up his boots at Old Trafford when he was 36 years old, while Keane, currently 51, called time on his professional career just shy of his 35th birthday.
And perhaps the bewildered reaction of Neville is amplified by the fact we’re living in an era where Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continue to set world records when they’re 37 and 35 years old respectively.
LEEDS, ENGLAND – OC…