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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Forever Young: Six Footballers Who Are Older Than They Claim To Be

Football is a tricky game. Some players are pretending to be hurt at the field and some are pretending to be younger that they actually are. But why do they do that? That is pretty simple. Player's age gets cut in order to sell the player more profitable to the other team.
There are not a lot of such cases, though. By most part they are only rumors. For example, there are many talks about Joseph Minala this year, who claims to be 18 years old. And he is according to his documents. Minala plays for Lazio FC and he is definitely doesn't look like he is 18. In fact some of his childhood friends claim that he is nearly 40.
Although, Joseph Minala is not the only one. Here are six football players that have cut their age ruthlessly:

# 6 - Taribo West
Age Difference - 12 years
A Nigerian footballer Taribo West has been accused of lying about his age in 2013. The former Nigeria centre half, now retired, joined Serbian team Partizan Belgrade in 2002 after leaving Derby County and told club bosses he was 28. But in 2013 the ex-president of Partizan, Zarko Zecevic, has accused him of lying, saying the defender was actually 40.
'He joined us saying he was 28. We only later found out he was 40, but he was still playing well so I don’t regret having him on the team,' Zecevic said.
Today his Wikipedia entry says he is 41.

#5 - Obafemi Martins
Age Difference - 6 years

Although Martins' date of birth on his passport states 28 October 1984, but couple of years ago the website of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) said he was born on 1 May 1978. Of course, Martins furiously denied the date of birth on the NFA site was correct and demanded it to be immediately changed. He claimed that the story has embarrassed him and his employers, and cast a shadow over his honesty. But the seeds of doubt were planted in the heads of fans, journalists and, no doubt, other clubs.

#4 - Samuel Etoo
Age Difference - 7 years
Famous football players have to be more careful when breaking up with their girlfriends. A former lover of Chelsea footballer Samuel Eto'o has accused the striker or being seven years older than he claims to be. Footballer's ex Anna Barranca told the press that Samuel was born in 1974. Although, according to his passport, Eto'o was born in 1981.
Eto'o himself has come out to say that he has nothing to prove about his age.

#3 - Angel Cheme
Age Difference - 3 years
This Ecuadorian footballer has been using someone else's name for seven years! He played the majority of his professional career as Gonzalo Javier Chila Palma, and claimed a date of birth of 9 December 1984 instead of the real date - 19 November 1981. Cheme was accused of aggravated identity theft which led to the one-year suspension by Ecuadorian Football Federation. Real Gonzalo Javier Chila Palma had troubles with finding work all these years because someone was using his name already.

#2 - Nwankwo Kanu
Age Difference - 9 years
Nwankwo Kanu is a legend of African football and became a cult hero in England playing for clubs like Arsenal and Portsmouth. Although, he is also suspected to be much older than he claims to be. 1 August 1976 is his registered date of birth but his actual age is believed to be anywhere between 40 and 50 years old. These claims were given some credence by the team’s former doctor Ken Anugweje who was quoted as saying, “our boys are old, we are paying the price for age cheating”.

#1 - Radamel Falcao
Age Difference - 2 years
Back in 2013 the Colombian international striker was reported to be two-years older than previously claimed after documents from his primary school came in light. Colombian newspaper El Tiempo released an image of Falcao’s birth certificate which shows the striker was born on February 10 1986. And it was not the first time the Colombian has faced such allegations. During his time at Argentinian side River Plate, he was accused of knocking a couple of years off his age in order to be eligible for the 2005 Under 20s World Cup, during which he scored twice.
So, as we can see simply trusting that a player is the age they say they are is not sufficient. Eventually, footballers are like women - claiming they are younger than they really are.


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