Ezzeldin Bahader set to break Guinness World Record as oldest footballer
Just when you thought you had seen it all in football, something completely new occurs. For those that claim the sport is for young men and women, they have never met 75-year-old Egyptian Ezzeldin Bahader. The grandfather of six is attempting to become the world’s oldest footballer according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Bahader may not have the silky skills of footballers from Brazil or the fitness of players from England, but he does have apparently have a goalscorer’s touch and could achieve the Guinness feat seven decades after first kicking a football.
The ageless player scored on his debut from the penalty spot for Egyptian club October 6. He also wear the armband and captained the side to victory.
Although his signing to Egyptian third division club October 6 is a mere publicity move, Bahader managed to complete the full game versus Genius. If he completes one more official league match, he will become the world’s oldest footballer.
The Egyptian is one match away from making history as the oldest footballer on the planet. Bahader will have the opportunity to play again on March 21 when October 6 take to the pitch once more in the Egyptian third tier. Amazingly, Bahader is decades older than some of the more renowned oldest professional football players. Great Brasileiro player Rivaldo made headlines playing until 43, while Japanese footballer Kazuyoshi Miura is 53. Neither of the two legends have anything on Bahader, however.
If Bahader is able to complete a second full match, he will overtake Israel’s Isaak Hayik as the oldest player in the world. Hayik was 73-years-old when he played in goal for Israel’s Ironi Or Yehuda in the Liga Alef South Division.
Bahader had never played professional football until his debut with October 6. The Egyptian worked as a civil engineering consultant and a land cultivation expert during his career. Although the professional ranks were a distant dream for Bahader, he did play amateur football but much of that was just for fun. Once a heavy smoker, Bahader looks more like a football manager that has seen his fair share of ups and downs than a player.
Two full 90-minute matches
It wasn’t until recently that Bahader began contacting football clubs in Egypt about a playing and the possibility of making history. A deal was struck between the player and October 6 allowing him the chance to live out his dream.
In the lead up to his debut, Bahader trained with the October 6 team as well as a personal trainer. The 75-year-old rookie needed the stamina and ability to move about the pitch for 90 minutes, not once, but twice to achieve the record. Bahader has already achieved the first phase of his plan and now needs to complete one more full match to break Hayik’s record. A Guinness Book of World Records representative will be on hand to watch October 6’s next match.
Bahader began playing football seven decades ago and after a full lifetime of raising a family and working a career, he could enjoy a short-live professional sports career. There is no word, however, if Bahader will continue playing matches after
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