At the age of 35, Maradona returned to his native Argentina after receiving no offers from any clubs. The famous Pele was playing in the MLS in the United States at the same age, which was then considered a football league for retired players.
Zidane had also retired at the age of 35 and no one wanted to feed Ronaldinho at that age.
The nature of the game of football is such that after crossing the figure of 30, the player is playing in stoppage time. Which means it’s about to be the most delusional time of the year, as well. This is because of the speed and agility required for the sport, which decreases with age.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 35, became the second player in history to score 100 goals after scoring two goals against Sweden yesterday.
This is also interesting because the biggest names in the world of football have not been able to cross the 100-goal mark in their entire careers and Ronaldo has scored so many goals while playing for Portugal alone. The total number of goals in Ronaldo’s career is 632. After yesterday’s match, Ronaldo is now only 8 goals behind Ali Dai, the highest goalscorer in international matches. Yesterday, Ronaldo was trending on Twitter all day, but interestingly, Ali Dai’s name was also trending and many people were asking who this footballer is.
Maradona of Iran
Ali Da’i has the same status in Iran as Maradona in Argentina. The new generation of football fans is unaware of many footballers and their style of play and ability. Watching old videos on YouTube does not give an accurate idea of the potential of any player in any sport.
In 1993, against Pakistan, the Iranian team management decided to feed 24-year-old Ali Dai on a striker position. He could not score in this match but due to the speed and positional play of this new player, the team management decided to make him a permanent part of the squad.
Reaching the 100-goal mark was even more difficult for Ali Da’i than Ronaldo because at that time Iran did not have the modern technology to keep footballers fit and active, nor did the country’s political situation. There were more and more opportunities to play football.
Pursue 100 goals
Hungary’s Frank Pescas holds the record for most goals scored by a national team at 84 for 47 years. Ali Daei, who had scored 83 goals, then equaled Pescas’ record by scoring one goal in the match against North Korea in the Asian qualifiers. But one of the Iranian fans threw a cracker on the field which hit the North Korean player and the whole team went off the field. Despite repeated calls from the referee, the North Korean team did not return in protest and the referee declared Iran the winner. But the rules of the game were such that Ali Dai’s goal was not officially recorded or considered in common parlance.
Ali Da’i, playing as a striker, equalized the record with a penalty kick in the match against Lebanon a few days later, and a few days later he scored the most goals in another match with the same team. He took the honor of scoring the goal.
After a stellar performance in the 1996 Asia Cup, Ali Da’i was offered a place in the German Bundesliga, after which he became the first Asian player to play in the Champions League. He scored six goals in 23 appearances for leading German club Bayern Munich.
The football leagues of Germany, France, England, Spain and Italy are called the ‘Big Five’. This means that these are the five biggest leagues in the world of football and the highest in terms of the quality of the game. Most of these leagues have big and famous players as well as alternate players. Because Da’i played Asian-style football, he did not get the chance to perform in Germany and Europe.
It often takes time for players to settle down after moving from one league to another, but because Byron had substitutes, he was confined to the bench and did not have much opportunity to play. He played for rival club Hertha the following season, but even there his game looked different from European-style football. That is why their numbers in Europe are limited. But playing for his country at the international level, his goals are still the highest in the world and this record is 17 years old.
And in those 17 years now, only one player has come close to him, who can really break it.