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The story of Lazio's '17-year-old' Minala who was accused of being 42

Mon 28 December 2020 | 13:49

Cameroonian player made headlines when he signed for Lazio in 2014, claiming to be aged just 17.

Joseph Minala signed a contract with Lazio in 2014 and claimed at the time that he was only 17 years old, which made headlines.

That's because when an African football website shared a shocking claim that he was in fact 42 years old, the news soon made Minala the talk of the football world.

His first photos as a Lazio player were the talk of the town, with fans quickly pointing out that he is much older than a teenager.

"

I have read the alleged statements posted on the website senego.net in which it says I confessed my real age which was different to what was stated in my [official] documents,

" Minala said six years ago.

"They are false statements that have been attributed to me by people who do not know."

The Italian Football Association (FIGC) investigated the case but found no proof the claims were true, with a report reading:

"The investigation did not show any need for disciplinary action

."

Minala has almost disappeared from the world of football since then, but what exactly happened to him?

A season after the age saga, He joined the Serie B side Bari.

However, his second stint away from the club came soon after with Latina, before another spell at Bari in 2016.

Three seasons at Salernitana then ensued, but the Italian outfit decided against signing the player permanently.

He finally joined Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai on loan this season.

"

China has managed to keep the championship on its feet, guaranteeing everyone’s health

," he said of the Covid situation earlier this year.

"Also, the team has achieved its goal. I am happy to have given my contribution.

"It was not easy; especially after being off for several months."

But there are rumors that Lazio intend to bring the Cameroonian player back in January.

"

Until January, I will try to keep fit,

" Minala said recently.

"If I happen to have an opportunity with Lazio, I will take it as I always have. I am ready for any challenge, and I hope that the next one will be with the Biancocelesti.

"I want to show the club that I have matured; I hope to finally have my chance to show how much I am worth.

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source: SportMob