World’s oldest professional player, Ezzeldin Bahader, proves age is just a number?

Bukola Olafenwa
4 min readOct 28, 2020

I am thrilled about the great news that 74-year-old Egyptian grandfather, Ezzeldin Bahader, has been honoured by the Guiness World Records as the world’s oldest professional player this October. I feel happy to write about it.

Ezzeldin Bahader

Reuters reported that the septuagenarian played his first match for his club in Cairo on March 7, 2020 during which he scored a penalty. He earned the historic title with his astonishing performance against El-Ayat Sports club in the Egyptian third division on October 6, 2020.

Ezzeldin Bahader’s grandchildren

Knowing that he has four children, and six grandchildren who were present at the Olympic Stadium in Maadi, Cairo where he played to encourage him is wonderful.

Moreover, an approximately one-minute video trending online provided by Reuters and CNN sports alongside commendable reports brings into further limelight the extraordinary personality of the old soccer player who has successfully broken the record of the 2019 receiver of the prize, Israeli Isaak Hayik.

What makes Ezzeldin Bahader spectacular

Ezzeldin Bahader

What makes Ezzeldin Bahader stand out is obvious: his age. His age defies nature, resists the ruining influence of the ageing process on humans. It is stunning how the footballer carries himself on the pitch easily and steadily. Miraculously, he is young for his age. He exhibits youthful energy in old age. With his confidence and super moves, he disproves the rational thought that primarily associates feebleness with old age. Ultimately, he makes his dream to be a globally recognised professional footballer come true in the autumn of his life.

Ezzeldin Bahader’s message to the world

Ezzeldin Bahader

His is an existence filled with an agedness that shuts retirement out of consideration to help rewrite the narrative of old people successfully. In an interview after the match that earned him the prize, Ezzeldin Bahader tasked his viewers not to limit their ambitions. He rekindled the hope of those in their declining years. He advised them to believe in their ability to defeat natural games and realise their youthful dreams in their advancing years. Aren’t these remarkable and radical?

Who will break Ezzeldin Bahader’s record?

Isaak Hayik

Isaak Hayik was awarded the title in 2019 after playing for Israeli team Ironi Or Yehuda as a goal keeper a few months before his 74th birthday. And Ezzeldin Bahader has broken the world’s oldest soccer professional record at a whopping age of 74, some days away from his 75th birthday, too. Automatically, it is clear they were born the same year. Now, I am wondering whether an older person, male or female (Yes! an old woman can do it!) will powerfully emerge to smash the achievement sooner or later. To think that someone aged 75, almost clocking 76 will surface and “dethrone” the current world’s oldest professional footballer next year is amazing. If it happens, the recurrence of the age trend will be a more amazing feature. And when it happens, it will be a most amazing soccer experience.

What Ezzeldin Bahader can do, a woman can do better

A woman can do better? This definitely sounds as if the female gender is being flattered to the ears of soccer. Nonetheless, it is indubitable that some old women are penning their names on the list of enviable records. Do you know Lorraine Peel?

Lorraine Peel

According to, she is the world’s oldest female football player. She is a Sydney grandmother who won the oldest active football (soccer) player (female) title of the Guiness World Record on August 20, 2017, after playing in a 2–1 victory grand Final match against Moorebank Sports in Australia. Then, she was 65 years old, almost turning 66.

Football runs in her family. She has played together with her daughters and grandchildren. She plays for Liverpool Rangers Soccer Club.

Lorraine Peel and children

And she has done well as a coach, committee member and a referee. Her story inspires younger generations to be the best they can be in sports. It predicts that the future of women in soccer is bright.

Lorraine Peel

In conclusion, witnessing the use of elderliness exuberantly to set significant global records is a great encounter with positive possibilities beyond the grip or dictates of age. Indeed, Ezzeldin Bahader proves that age is just a number in 2020.



Bukola Olafenwa

Alumna, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; University of Westminster, London. Academic Mentor at The LETTA Trust, London.