75-year-old Egyptian halfway towards goal of becoming world’s oldest pro footballer
JOHANNESBURG – Egyptian grandfather Ezzeldin Bahader is halfway in his quest to become the world’s oldest soccer professional.
The 75-year-old needs to play two 90-minute matches to be recognised as an official professional footballer.
Bahader, despite a troublesome knee, played the full 90 minutes for Egyptian third-tier club October 6 in their 1-1 draw against Genius over the weekend.
Not only did he manage to keep going for the entire match, he also scored a penalty to send his teammates and fans into wild celebrations.
According to middleeastmonitor.com, Ezzeldin Bahader, who fancies himself as a striker, began playing soccer at the age of six in the last millennium, but believes 2020 is the year he will finally achieve his dream - some 69 years later.
The grandfather of six worked as a civil engineer before taking up the role of land cultivation expert.
Born in Cairo, he moved to Kuwait before finally relocating to Al Rehab in Egypt.
Throughout his life Bahader has played amateur football, and recently began applying to join clubs before he was accepted by Egyptian third division club October 6. In addition to training with the club, he is also working with a personal trainer to improve his fitness levels.
The current Guiness World Record for the oldest professional soccer player belongs to Israel’s Isaak Hayik who represented Ironi Or Yehuda at the age of 73 in 2019.
African News Agency (ANA)