Soccer-Old enough to know better? Hilton sent off in landmark game

16 Sep 2020 / 15:26 H.

    Sept 16 (Reuters) - Montpellier captain Vitorino Hilton became the oldest player in a Ligue 1 match since 1956 when the 43-year-old lined up against Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday but the Brazilian defender almost had his day ruined by a red card late on.

    Hilton, who celebrated his 43rd birthday on Sunday, signed a one-year contract extension in May having racked up over 320 appearances for the club since joining them in 2011.

    According to Opta statistics, he is the oldest player to feature in the French top flight since former France striker Roger Courtois played for Troyes at the age of 44 in 1956.

    Hilton was also the first man aged 43 or over to play in Europe's top five leagues since Italian goalkeeper Marco Ballotta featured for Lazio aged 44 in 2008, the statistics showed.

    Hilton received a yellow card in the 71st minute then a red 10 minutes later after conceding a penalty with Montpellier leading 2-0.

    Lyon substitute Memphis Depay converted from the spot but Hilton's side held on for the win.

    Hilton will have to play on for at least another decade if he wants to take Kazuyoshi Miura's crown as the world's oldest professional footballer.

    The 53-year-old forward, who joined Yokohama FC in 2005, signed a contract extension at the start of the year to play for the J-League club until January 2021. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )

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