Egyptian grandfather Ezzeldin Bahader is officially the oldest professional footballer in the world after the 74-year-old completed his second full game as a professional.
Bahader’s achievement was officially recognized by Guinness World Records on Saturday after playing for his team in Egypt’s third division in a 3-2 loss to Al Ayat Sports on October 6.
Bahader’s performance was a welcome distraction from his performance as he missed a penalty during the game.
The former amateur player, who will turn 75 on November 3, scored a goal on his debut in March. He was ready to play in his second 90-minute game later that month to set the world record, but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic put his search – and football season – on hold.
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But his appearance this weekend meant he was breaking the record previously set by 73-year-old Israeli Isaak Hayik.
Bahader’s presence on the team on October 6th helped the club earn sponsorship and advertising, and his record breaking appearance was celebrated by some of his family members. Some of his six grandchildren sang, “Come on, Grandpa!” from the sidelines.
“I dream of breaking my own record again just to make the competition a little tougher,” he said.
That goal could prove difficult, however, as Bahader now officially no longer has a contract with his current club.
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