Only one way to be sure - cut him in half and count the rings.
Does he know Ali Dia?
Isn't that why people think the Earth is 6000 years old?
Maybe he's from Mars...
Earth years 32.00
Mars years 17.01
Presumably the club are pretty confident that he's at least closer to 17 than he is 41. I'd hope they'd be able to tell between the physical condition of a teenager and someone in their forties, because it would in no way be in their interest or of much benefit to pay a 41 year old to play youth level football for them
I lived in Cameroon. People change their birth certificate to appear younger all the time (often to avoid school fees or other reasons). The country is corrupt so the government basically provides this 'service' for a small bribe. I'm absolutely confident that happened in this case as well.
So, why are they so insistent on saying he's 17? Could it be because he recently played for them at the Viareggio Cup youth tournament, where, presumably being 41 would be a tad older than allowed?
Then there was this chap.
If he's gonna claim 17, it'd be funny to hold him to it, make him live entirely as a minor. No access to credit, no ability to live on his own, permission slips from his parents for everything, no alcohol, no freedom to consent to sex, etc.
Reminds me a bit of when Greg Oden was first drafted by the Blazers- he was barely 20, but looked like he was 50. Unfortunately he had both the looks and the knees of a 50-year-old.
Different perspective on this issue: European authorities, when they doubt a teenage immigrants age, they look at his/her teeth or take full body x-rays to "determine" how old he is. Yeah, that's right. As a result, people who would benefit from easier immigration laws for children are rejected based on methods that are both inaccurate and demeaning. So, if you don't believe someones age, what do you do? Start probing his orifices or expose him to radiation? Doesn't look very civilized to me.
If he is 17, then that is one awkward puberty.
In the rest of the story, Lazio has gotten collaboration of his age from his 14 year old son.
Yes, he looks older than 17 to me as well. However, the world is a strange place, people are a diverse species, and what do I know?
At this point, any damage to junior league soccer has already been done. If he has nothing to gain, who am I to dispute his age based purely on physical appearances?
The Greg Oden example is perfect. If you had asked me, I'd have said "no way is that guy 20." But he was... The only difference is the fact we've not been tracking this guy's life for a decade with with domestic sports media...
He just got his growth spurt early.
He's 17? He's just the right age to date one of those Chinese Gymnasts from the last Olympics. It won't be creepy at all--they're the same age.
He looks just like the people who played those teenagers on Beverly Hills 90210.
Good news! Italy's age of consent is 14 for sex.
As this comment was first, I motion that the comments now are closed. Nothing better can possibly be typed in this thread!