10 of the Oldest Players in Footballing History

This week the Egyptian FA announced the official registration of what they believe to be the oldest professional footballer in the world.

At the tender of just 74 Eez Eldin Bahder has signed for third-tier club 6th October, and while no official details were given of the deal, we’re assuming that it wasn’t an Alan Pardew-style eight-year contract.

Apart from making all of us 20-somethings take a serious look at our dwindling levels out fitness, it’s also got us thinking about some of the company Bahder is keeping in terms football’s more mature players.

So put away your Just For Men and bust out your Zimmer frames as we here at 90min take a look at some of the oldest footballers to have ever played the game.


Roger Milla, 42


Those who witnessed Roger Milla’s dad dancing after any of his four goals for Cameroon at the 1990 World Cup​ will have found it hard to believe that Roger Milla was only 38 at the time.

Amazingly he returned four years later to feature again for the Indomitable Lions at the age of 42 at USA 94, although rumours quickly began to circulate that he was much older than he said he was… 


Marco Balotta, 43

Marco Balotta

Marco Ballotta became the oldest player to have ever appeared in the Champions League when he kept goal for Lazio at the spritely age of 43 in 2007. 

Aside from being a great goalkeeper, he is infamous for dying what little hair he had left blue in honour of Ie Aquile.


Rivaldo, 43

Rivaldo

Rivaldo is probably best known for winning the Balon d’Or in 1999 and starring in Brazil’s World Cup win in 2002 at the age of 30. It’s amazing therefore to think that he was still playing as recently as 2015.

The Brazilian had a strange end to his career turning out for clubs in Uzbekistan and Angola, before playing his final game alongside his son Rivaldinho for Mogi Mirim just five years ago.


Andrea Pierobon, 45

Andrea Pierobon

Affectionately nicknamed ‘Nonno’ (granddad) by his teammates, Andrea Pierobon is the oldest player in Italian football history.

The keeper started his playing career the year after Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ (1986) and finished it in the same year that Zayn left One Direction (2015). 

Both equally devastating events…


John Burridge, 46

John Burridge

The ultimate journeyman John Burridge was last seen playing for Blyth Spartans. With levels of loyalty that would leave even the Giggs family aghast, Budgie played for a whopping 29 clubs in his professional career.

His brief stint as ​Manchester City keeper at the age of 43 in 1995 means that he is still the oldest player to have ever played in the Premier League. 


Essam El Hadary, 47

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While most people’s eyes would’ve been on ​Mohamed Salah going into the 2018 World Cup for Egypt, real football hipsters would have been paying attention to the Pharos reserve goalkeeper Essam El Hadary. 

At 45 years of age, El Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history in his country’s final group game against Saudi Arabia, and marked the occasion by saving a penalty! He’s still going strong at 47 for Egyptian second division club Nogoom.


Teddy Sheringham, 49

Teddy Sheringham

This one’s kind of a technicality, as Teddy Sheringham never actually appeared for Stevenage despite being registered as a player/manager in 2015 at the age of 49.

He is, however, the oldest player to have scored in Premier League history though, having scored for ​West Ham aged 40 years and 268 days back in 2007.


Socrates, 50​

From the yellow and blue of Brazil to the yellow and blue of Garforth Town?! No, you’re not reading that wrong, captain of the 1982 Brazilian World Cup side Socrates came on as a substitute for the non-league side from Yorkshire for a bizarre 12 minutes back in 2004.

We can only assume he thought it was a Brazil legends’ game because of the kit, as he was never seen on the pitch for Garforth again.


Sir Stanley Matthews, 50

Stoke City v Leicester City - Premier League

Stanley Matthews was so good that he became the first player to have ever ​been knighted for his services to football.

He played at the top level until the age of 50 when he finally called it quits. He’s most famously remembered for the ‘Matthews Final’ where he inspired his Blackpool side to come back from 3-1 down and win 4-3 in the FA Cup of 1953.


Kazuyoshi Miura, 52

Kazuyoshi Miura

Still going strong at the age of 52 ‘King Kazu’ is showing no signs of slowing down after renewing his contract with J1 League side ​FC Yokohama just this month.

Amazingly the veteran forward started his career way back in 1982, played at the 1990 Asian games, retired from international football in 2000, officially surpassed Stan Matthews oldest pro record in 2017.

That same year, at the age of 50 and 14 days, he also became the oldest player in history to have scored a professional goal. Of course, he served up his famous Kazu Feint to celebrate…


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Rio Ferdinand Blasts Man Utd as Fans Leave Early During Desperate Burnley Defeat

Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has blasted his old club in the wake of Wednesday night’s dismal home defeat against Burnley, which saw many fans leave Old Trafford early, having passionately chanted against the club’s ownership during the game.

‘Love United, hate Glazers’ and ‘We want United back’ were two of the chants that rang around Old Trafford during the contest in reference to the growing fan opposition to the controversial owners and the use of the club first and foremost as cash cow and business.

‘Stand up if you hate the Glazers’ was also heard not long after Burnley scored their second goal of the game, which saw many of those inside the stadium rise from their seats.

United’s senior management structure is not fit for purpose and anger has been increasingly directed away from the players and coaches and towards executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and other high ranking officials.

“I’m sitting here embarrassed. It’s embarrassing to be here seeing this,” the retired defender said in his role as a pundit during BT Sport’s coverage of the game.

“You can’t defend this. Fans were walking out after 85 minutes. People at the top need to see this and make changes and put a plan in place. Young kids in schools around the country won’t be wearing Man Utd shirts, they won’t be wanting to come here and see this.

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“Nothing there suggests this is laying the foundation of future. I don’t see a pathway. Where’s the target set on the wall, saying this is how we’re going to get there? Money has been spent willy-nilly in the past seven years, what’s to show?”

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who retains the support of the Old Trafford board and will not be sacked, argued that the performance in last weekend’s defeat against Liverpool was a ‘stride forward’ and showed progress. But even he couldn’t dress up the Burnley display and admitted the urgent need for new players in the transfer market.

“I’m responsible for what is happening on the pitch, we’re looking to strengthen, we need to strengthen. We know that,” Solskjaer said after the final whistle.

“We are working to improve and get players in. Hopefully, we can get something over the line. These players are stretched, and I’ve got no complaints on any of them – they give everything they’ve got.”

But improvement with new signings will only come if the board can change the habit of seven years and actually properly deliver in the transfer market.

Following the defeat to Liverpool, Gary Neville called for Woodward and others to be sacked after building a mediocre squad on the second highest wage bill in the world.

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“I’m struggling to understand why the ownership have persisted in trusting that management team to oversee the building of a Premier League title winning team since Sir Alex left,” Neville said.

“If you don’t lose your job for essentially overseeing that investment, that wage bill, and putting that team out on the pitch then I have to say something is really wrong.”


For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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Brendan Rodgers Provides Positive Update on Jamie Vardy Injury

​Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has played down concerns about the injury Jamie Vardy suffered during Sunday’s 4-1 win over West Ham United.

The forward was removed shortly before half-time, with his side a goal to the good at that point in the match. Vardy was seen clutching his hamstring as he left the field of play, depriving the Foxes of their star striker, who has scored 17 goals in 25 appearances this season.

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Questions have immediately been raised over the impact his absence will have on ​Leicester. Rodgers has moved quickly to diffuse the situation, saying (as quoted by ​​BBC): “It is not his hamstring which is good. Hopefully over the next couple of days it will ease off and he will be fit.

Jamie is a real talisman for the team, but if we are going to have success it is about the team. He hasn’t played for us in a number of games and the team has still played well but of course we want him fit and well. He is such a good player and we hope it is not too serious.”

Vardy has missed just two of the Foxes’ ​Premier League matches this campaign, with the 32-year-old having a hand in 34% of their goals to date.

He has been a key factor in the success Rodgers’ men have enjoyed in 2019/20. The Midlands outfit currently sit third in the table, 14 points clear of fifth-place ​Manchester United.

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With a number of England strikers – including Tammy Abraham, Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane – struggling for fitness at the moment, there has been growing speculation that Vardy could come out of international retirement.

Rodgers’ comments suggest he won’t be out of action for too long, and the Three Lions have no fixtures for the next two months, meaning a return to Gareth Southgate’s squad is still a possibility ahead of next summer’s European Championships.


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter

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West Ham Linked With Stunning Dimitri Payet Return – But Conflicting Report Claims Interest Is False

Conflicting reports have emerged over the future of former West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet, with sources in France suggesting that a return to east London could be on the cards.

The 32-year-old left the London Stadium in acrimonious circumstances three years ago, engineering a move back to Ligue 1 after struggling to adapt to life in England.

Prior to his departure, Payet was a huge favourite with West Ham’s supporters – with a string of absolutely sensational performances helping the Hammers say goodbye to their old Boleyn Ground home in some style.

But once homesickness kicked in, Payet became a disruptive influence at the club, leading to then-manager Slaven Bilic revealing in an emotional, but funny, press conference that his star player was refusing to play for the club.

Marseille eventually came calling to take him home to France, but L’Equipe (via ​MailOnline Sport) claim that West Ham are pursuing a deal to bring Payet back to east London. 

As ever, though, counter claims have swiftly hit the headlines, and ​Sky Sports report that Payet is not a target for the Hammers, insisting that interest has not been registered with Marseille despite L’Equipe claiming otherwise.

Dimitri Payet

Instead, Sky’s report cites ​West Ham’s unhappiness with how Payet exited the club in the first place, even though they managed to recoup a sizeable £25m fee for his services. 

Abdoulaye Touré, a defensive midfielder who plays for Nantes, is touted as an alternative target for manager David Moyes, who has overseen just one signing in the January transfer window so far; the return of goalkeeper Darren Randolph from Middlesbrough.

One thing that is certain is West Ham’s need to bring in reinforcements ahead of a tough few months. They are firmly embroiled in this season’s relegation dogfight, with the comprehensive 4-1 defeat away at ​Leicester indicative of the club’s problems this season.

An alarming lack of pace, concentration and creativity was on show once more at King Power Stadium, with Michail Antonio – a substitute on the night – the only West Ham player to emerge from the game with any credit.

Sebastien Haller

A move for Payet sounds fanciful but, in truth, would do little to solve the Hammers issues. That said, he did score 15 times and contribute 23 assists during his two-year stint at the club – numbers that the current crop of players can only dream of right now.


For more from Toby Cudworth, follow him on Twitter!

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Gareth Bale Set for Tests on New Ankle Injury After Copa del Rey Win

​Gareth Bale faces tests on a possible ankle injury, after coming off in the second half of Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey win over Unionistas de Salamanca on Wednesday evening.

Real Madrid enjoyed a fairly trouble-free evening away against third-tier Salamanca, with Bale opening the scoring on 18 minutes. While the hosts got a surprise equaliser in the second half, it took Madrid – 19 times winners of the competition – five minutes to go back in front, while they eventually won 3-1 on the night.

With ​Barcelona leaving it late as they toiled to a 2-1 victory over UD Ibiza on the same night, Zinedine Zidane and his charges enjoyed a less taxing experience in the revamped Copa, with the only lasting worry Bale’s fitness.

​​The Welsh forward was taken off in the 53rd minute, apparently nursing an ankle knock.

Speaking after the game, Zidane told ​reporters: “He’s twisted his ankle a bit. I don’t think it’s much but, as always, we’ll see tomorrow. He couldn’t go on.”

After the game, COPE journalist Melchior Ruiz was among those to tweet that the initial diagnosis was a sprain, while the player would be tested on Thursday.

Bale has remained a marginalised figure at ​Real Madrid this season under Zidane, starting nine La Liga games and just one in the Champions League, with his only two goals prior to Wednesday night’s effort, coming in the 2-2 draw with Villarreal back in September. Bale was also sent off in that encounter.

Gareth Bale,Guille Andres

The forward continues to be linked with a move away from Madrid, though the likelihood of a deal being done any time soon seems minimal.

​Reports from Spain on Wednesday claimed that Tottenham had made a bid to bring their former star back to London, while Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett – not for the first time – categorically dismissed the notion that his client could leave on loan.

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