The oldest football player in Africa, continues


Longevity in the world of sports is synonymous with the constant fight to prove that the body is still capable of the challenges of competition at the highest level. Clearly, there are sports that are more likely to host athletes close to retirement and others that are more demanding and kill the athlete when he approaches 40.

The oldest in the sport

Exceptional cases are recorded for posterity, such as that of the oldest Olympic athlete in the history of the Games: the Swedish shooter Oscar Swahnaged 72 years and 280 days, won the silver medal at Antwerp Games in 1920. In the last games, at Tokyo 2020the Argentinian Santiago Lange At 59 years old he participated in the Nacra 17 sailing or rider class Mary Hannahwho at the age of 66 is the oldest Australian to race some JJ. YES. even if he loses Lorna Johnstoneat 70 years old, was able to compete Munich’72. But if one thing unites all these ‘fighters’ is that they have always dedicated themselves to the practice of competitive sports from a young age and have won many world championships, participating in Games and recognition in the form of medals or titles on its back.

Footballers are still active

Focusing on football, we are still surprised by the resistance of the Japanese striker Kazuyoshi Miura 57 years old and after a sports career that began 38 years ago in saints Brazilian (at 15 he traveled alone to Brazil to be a footballer), continues to play in Oliveirense Portuguese from the second division on loan from Suzuka Point Getters.

Or the return to the playing field of Romarioformer player of FC Barcelona, Valencia and PSV. In the middle of last April we learned the news that the champion in Brazil of the 1994 World Cup in USAjust enrolled in Americathe Brazilian club he leads, to compete with the 58-year-old, the Carioca Championship second division. There it coincides Rosemaryone of his sons and became the club when he retired in 2009.

But Innocent Dambudzo Benza (Rusape, Zimbabwe 5/19/1972) came relatively late to practice sports at the highest level of competition. After a life devoted to teaching, he saw that he could become a soccer player, taking advantage of the fact that the school team Herentals College which he owned was just promoted Castle Lager Zimbabwe Premier League. It happened in 2018 and our hero is 46 years old. Not satisfied with debuting at such a late age, the owner placed his son It is understood in the template. Benz and It is understoodwas the first father-son pair to play on the same team in the history of premier of Zimbabwe.

In 2019 he became the oldest player to score a goal in the league against Chapungu in Rufaro. This season they are in 9th position (out of 18 teams), fighting to finish better than last year (6th), same as their debut year. Furthermore, at the beginning of March he had a backlog: the coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuzivawho has been with the club since promotion in 2018, leaves as an assistant Ngezi Platinum Stars and Benz He had to leave the family to find a replacement. Celestino Paul Benzayounger brother of innocenttook the reins from the bench, even though everyone knows who makes and breaks in Herentals FC.

Rope moment

In statements to the Zimbabwean media, Benz showed no sign of backing down: “I’ve said it before. I will play soccer as long as my legs can. “I love this sport and I train every day to condition my body for this game.” With the number 9 on his back, his games usually last for the first 45 minutes and then retire, although on some occasions he has been able to extend to the 55th minute.

Although he was clear when he said “I’m not done yet. I’m enjoying football now more than ever. “The sport is something I grew up with and I continue to play because my body can handle it.” In his first season , when he felt strong and physically fit, he played 29 games and finished sixth, conceding the second fewest goals in the league.

Elected parliamentarian

BenzIn addition to managing the first team’s registrations, cancellations and cash, it also provides financing to Queens of Herentals (they became league champions), Herentals Sub20 and in Herentals D2of the Second Division based in its jurisdiction, Central Mutaseabout four hours away Hararethe capital of the country, and at the foot of Nyanga National Park. Because the other occupation of innocent This is politics.

beaten up

He won a seat in the Parliament of Zimbabwe last August. Not without controversy as is often the case during the electoral season. According to the media that monitored the day of the election, it was known that ‘eight thugs’ from the party of Benzhe ZANU PFidentified with two black Toyota Land Cruisers VX and a Hammer vehicle, all with signs of Benz beaten, they attacked electoral agents.

In the end, Benz He posted ‘X’ photos of his bruised face, claiming he was also attacked. Finally, the incident did not escalate and in his chair, Benz He plans to develop football throughout his territory. He stated at his inauguration that “My hope is that the sport will grow Zimbabwe and be a powerhouse in more than one discipline. He added that “I believe that sport is a huge industry, which can employ hundreds of thousands of people if it is managed properly and I will give sport a voice in Parliament by promoting initiatives.” Three days after being elected, he did not forget his promise, he dressed in shorts to play in matchday 20 against Manica Diamonds which ended in a tie.

He got applause and rejection in equal measure, but the virtue innocent will continue until the end of the season. Then we will see.

Source: La Verdad


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