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What Happened To Lazio's Joseph Minala - The 17-Year-Old Thought To Be 42

Daniel Marland

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What Happened To Lazio's Joseph Minala - The 17-Year-Old Thought To Be 42

Joseph Minala is a name that most football fans know from one single image - but what's happened to him since then?

For those who don't know, Minala rose to fame in 2014 when he was a 17-year-old looking to break into the first team of Serie A side Lazio.

But the only problem that he faced was his age - it was claimed he wasn't actually 17-years-old, but 42-years-old instead.

An African football website made the astonishing claims and it got the entire football world talking about the youngster.

Image Credit: Lazio
Image Credit: Lazio

His features were rugged for a teenager but no concrete evidence was brought forward to prove his age was false.

The Italian Football Association (FIGC) investigated Minala but the case was thrown out later that year with a statement reading: "The investigation did not show any need for disciplinary action."

As a result, the midfielder's career never escaped the incident, but you'll be surprised to learn he's still actually on the books of Lazio.

The season after the age scandal saw Minala join Serie B side Bari on loan.

His season in the Italian second division saw him net three goals in 18 games before returning to the Stadio Olimpico.

Minala then spent a season at Latina before returning to Bari again in 2016.

Following a second spell at Bari, his next three seasons would be at Salernitana who had an option to sign him permanently.

A permanent move never materialised and he found himself back in Rome once again.

Last season, Minala spent the year on loan at Qingdao Huanghai, who were best known for having former Barcelona and Manchester City star Yaya Toure among their ranks.

After making 15 appearances for the Chinese Super League side, his contract with Lazio expired in 2021 and now, aged 25, Minala has signed a contract with Serie C side Luchesse FC

His story will forever remain a curious one and it's unknown how big of an impact the scandal had on his career.

Topics: Lazio, Football

Daniel Marland
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