Former Colombia striker returns to professional football at 46 | inside World Soccer

Former Colombia striker returns to professional football at 46

Thursday, July 23, 2009

46-year-old Ántony de Ávila has returned to professional football, ten years after his first retirement.

The former Colombia international announced his comeback with América de Cali on Wednesday.

He retired when he was playing for Barcelona in neighbouring Ecuador a decade ago.

De Ávila, who scored 13 goals in 53 appearances for his country, was reportedly signed up by the Colombian outfit after he impressed during a training session.

The 5ft 3in striker, nicknamed El Pitufo (The Smurf), is América's all-time top scorer with 201 goals and also the sixth highest ever goalscorer in the Copa Libertadores' history with 29 goals.

The oldest player on record to have played a professional game is Doncaster Rovers’ John Ryan, who was and still is the owner of the club, at 52 years old.

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