Meet Joseph Minala. The 17-Year-Old Player Accused Of Being 42 (Photos)

Joseph Minala has already left Italy for another European nation, ten years after joining Lazio as a teenager, despite complaints that he appeared to be considerably older.

The first time Minala became well-known online was in 2014, when a picture of the young Lazio player at the time went viral.

The midfielder’s expression showed that his upbringing had probably not been pleasant and that he seemed older than his actual age at the time, which was 17.

He didn’t only seem older; an investigation was launched after reading a post on an African football website that claimed the young man was actually 42 years old.

Only four times did Minala play for the senior Biancocelesti squad while he was a resident of the Stadio Olimpico, which was from 2014 to 2021.

Instead, he played about 67 times while on loan at various Italian teams, most notably Salernitana and Bari, before joining Qingdao Huanghai in the Chinese Super League for a brief while in 2020.

The athlete, a Cameroonian native, signed with Olbia Calcio 1905 in Serie C last summer. Northeastern Sardinia contains the beach city of Olbia.

He transferred to FK Liepaja to play in Latvia’s top division after his one-year contract was amicably canceled at the beginning of the year.

Minala, now 26 years old, stood on the bench as Liepaja defeated Super Nova 6-2 away from home earlier on Friday to move into third place in the Latvian Higher League.

Naturally, if the claims made against the former Lazio player at the beginning of his career were true, he would be about 52 years old at this point.

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Regardless of the level of football, even if he weren’t the oldest player on the field right now, it would be commendable to be on the roster of any professional team at that age.

Minala’s claim to youth is refuted by the fact that Japanese superstar Kazuyoshi Miura, 56, is the oldest player still participating at the highest level.

The sole survivor of FIFA 96 is currently in his 36th year of professional competition and has played for roughly 15 clubs during that time.

His most recent appearance was last week, when he made his debut with Oliveirense, a Portuguese second-tier team, in their 4-1 victory over Academico Viseu as the 89th substitution.


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