Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes age is no barrier for veteran defender Sylvain Distin.
The Spaniard praised the centre-back’s incredible standards and said he could play for a “long, long time”.
Distin’s contract expires at the end of the season but it seems likely he will have his deal extended by 12 months as he did a year ago having been an ever-present in the league since November 24 2012.
“I’m proud to have a player like Sylvain Distin representing Everton because he has got incredible standards,” said Martinez.
“All we need to do is carry on doing the same thing and then at the end of the season football gives you the reward that you put in as a professional.
“When you get in a situation like Sylvain’s, it’s not the manager making decisions, it’s football.
“Sylvain has been an incredible performer this season. I wouldn’t say he has just carried on where he left off last season, he has stepped up and has gone to a different level.
“He has always been paramount in our defensive duties but now he is very important in our style of play and the distribution that he brings to the team.”
Distin turns 36 next week but Martinez does not feel that is relevant.
“Age becomes a number. Sylvain looks after himself - he is always the last man out at Finch Farm and he could play for a long, long time,” he told evertontv.
“The number becomes experience in football and it can be used to your advantage.
“We need to enjoy this player who is a true ambassador of our football club.”