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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

74-year-old Egyptian grandfather becomes world's oldest professional footballer

Ezzeldin Bahader made his debut for 6th October in March [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 October, 2020

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Grandfather-of-six Ezzeldin Bahader was granted the accolade just after his team lost 3-2 to El Ayat Sports club in the Egyptian third division.
A 74-year-old Egyptian grandfather has been recognised as the world's oldest professional footballer, just weeks shy of his 75th birthday.

Ezzeldin Bahader, who plays for the 6th October team, was recognised as the oldest player in his field by Guinness World Records on Saturday.

Bahader was granted the accolade just after his team lost 3-2 to El Ayat Sports club in the Egyptian third division. The record was previously held by 73-year-old Israeli goalkeeper Isaak Hayik.

"I dream of being able to break my own record one more time, just to make the competition a little harder," Bahader was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The father-of-four and grandfather-of-six made his professional footballing debut in March, when he scored his first goal from the penalty spot. He was due to play another full match in the same month, however the coronavirus pandemic put games on hold.

He is currently out of contract.

In previous interviews, Bahader had said he was 75, however later attributed the mistake to "rounding up" his age.

His presence in the 6th October squad is credited with having raised the profile of the club due to international media interest in his story.
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