Old age is probably the main reason why most professional soccer players hang their boots.
The very basic underlying factor is that with old age, most players lose pace and stamina as their bodies become stiffer and more prone to injuries, which take longer to heal.
As a result, many footballers retire in their late 30s or early 40s since their bodies can no longer handle the vigorous activities that are required to be professional footballers.
However, there are players alive today who are aiming to surpass these statistics, having played beyond the age of 50.
As the saying goes “Age is just a number and success has no age limit”, the football world has witnessed many old-aged players fighting these odds.
Playing past the 90-minute mark is not a limit for these fellows as they aim to engrave their names into the history books.
Legendary Sir Stanley Matthews entered the record books after becoming the oldest goalscorer in professional football history above the age of 50, but who else is on the list?
Japanese striker Kazuyoshi Miura (2020)
Miura, from Japan, is recognised by the Guinness World Records as both the oldest player and the oldest goalscorer in professional football history, taking both records from the legendary Sir Stanley Matthews.
Nicknamed “King Kazu,”, Miura signed a new 12-month contract this year with first division club Yokohama FC to take him into a 35th season of professional football.
Miura, who turned 53 in February, played three times last season as Yokohama earned promotion from Japan’s second tier.
Egyptian grandfather Ezzeldin Bahader (2020)
Bahader took a big step towards becoming the world’s oldest professional soccer player by making his debut at the age of 75 over the weekend and celebrated the occasion by scoring a goal.
According to Reuters, Bahader, a former amateur player, father of four and grandfather of six, showed he still had an eye for goal by slotting in from the penalty spot much to the delight of his teammates and fans.
To be recognised as the world’s oldest professional player, Bahader must play at least one more 90-minute game.
Israeli Isaak Hayik (2019)
Isaak Hayik set the record by playing as a goalkeeper for Israeli team Ironi Or Yehuda in April last year.
Despite his advanced years, Hayik said he was “ready for another game” after playing for the full 90 minutes.
He, according to BBC received the Guinness World Records prize at a ceremony after the match, just days ahead of his 74th birthday.