Ezz El-Din Bahader, An Egyptian septuagenarian turn pro footballer who scored on his professional debut 

 

At 75, one could wonder what type of hope is it to becoming a pro footballer but Bahader kept his hope of becoming one alive and it came through.

The dreams of playing soccer as a professional had remained unachievable for Ezzeldine Bahader for decades – until, at the age of 75, he registered with the Egyptian Football Association as its oldest player yet.

 

Bahader scored in his professional debut as his team in the Egyptian third tier October 6 drew 1-1 with rivals Genius.

 

 

He started in impressive fashion, playing a full 90 minutes despite injury on Saturday for the October 6 team in the third tier of Egyptian football.

The father of four and grandfather of six scored from the penalty spot, whereupon he was mobbed by team-mates, as October 6 drew 1-1 with rivals Genius.

“I became the oldest professional footballer scoring a goal in an official game,” he said afterwards.

“This is something that was achieved in the last minute of the game that I thought I wouldn’t achieve. I was injured and all what I hoped for was to continue for the full 90 minutes and play the next game.”

After the match, the youthful-looking Bahader posed for pictures with members of the opposition.

He must now play another full 90 minutes in a second game, which is due to take place on 21 March, to be officially recognised as the world’s oldest footballer by Guinness World Records.

The existing record is claimed by Israel’s Isaak Hayik, who was 73 years and 95 days old when he played in goal last year for lower-tier Israeli side Ironi Or Yehuda.

The forward, who has recently been battling a knee injury, used to play amateur football while he conducted his career as a civil engineering consultant and then a land cultivation expert.

In January, the Egyptian FA announced the registration of a septuagenarian player who had never previously appeared in professional football.

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