- in In Pictures
An Egyptian bidding to become the oldest professional footballer ever scored on his debut – at the age of 75.
Ezzeldin Bahader needs to play two full games to qualify as an entry in the Guinness World Records book.
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.
Having first started playing football in the streets of the Egyptian capital Cairo as a six-year-old, it was only seven decades later that he started to write to teams in the unlikely dream of joining a club.
Cairo-based October 6 were the club that took him, with an eye on getting their place in the record books.
“It is very good for Egypt to have someone in the Guinness Book of Records and for us to have him in the October 6 club,” said club coach Ahmed Abdel Ghany.
“Honestly, we won’t benefit from him 100% on the technical side but we rehabilitated him in the previous period so that he would be able to play the required 90 or 180 minutes (to qualify for the Guinness World Records book).”
Bahader has recently been training both with the club and at home with a personal trainer in a bid to make his mark.