75-year-old Ezzeldin Bahader’s lifelong dream of being a professional football player is a step closer to reality now that he’s officially a member of an Egyptian Football Association team.
Bahader, father of four and grandfather of six, started playing football in the streets of Cairo at the age of six.
As an adult, he was consumed by his work as a civil engineering consultant and later land cultivation expert, to say nothing of many years of smoking.
Though he carried on playing as an amateur, he abandoned his dream of becoming a professional striker.
But nearly seven decades after kicking his first football, Bahader revived his dream and began applying to join clubs. Finally, he was accepted into October 6, a club that plays in Egypt’s third division.
He is now training with the club, as well as at home with a personal trainer, to regain his fitness.
If all goes well and he actually plays two 90-minute matches, Bahader will officially become the world’s oldest professional player. Bahader hopes to accomplish the task in March.
Bahader says a representative of Guinness World Records will attend the second match to assess his claim.
The Guinness World Record for the oldest professional footballer is currently held by Isaak Hayik, an Israeli who was 73-years-old when he played in goal last April for Israel’s Ironi Or Yehuda.