Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/4/13
If Taribo West is as old as they say he is, then his professional soccer career is one long achievement in itself. The former president of Serbian club Partizan Belgrade has accused West of lying about his age, saying the former Nigerian international was 12 years older than he claimed to be during when he played for the club from 2002-04. Zarko Zecevic says West told the club he was 28, but he was actually 40, according to the Mail. “‘He joined us saying he was 28,” Zecevic said. “We only later found out he was 40, but he was still playing well so I don’t regret having him on the team.” West’s current age is listed at 39, which is unremarkable for a player enjoying the fifth year of his retirement. But if he currently older than 50, then his career begins to seem simply astounding. West’s professional journey ran from 1992-2008, taking him to 10 clubs in eight countries. He also represented Nigeria from 1994-02. He played a key role in his country’s gold-medal-winning squad in 1996 and also appeared in two FIFA World Cups (1998 and 2002) for the Super Eagles. It was thought that West was 22 years old during the 1996 Summer Olympic games, but his actual age would have been closer to 34 if Zecevic is correct. He was reportedly a 23-year-old when he left French club Auxerre for Inter Milan in 1997. If Zecevic’s calculations are taken into account, then West was actually 35 when he moved to the Italian giant. Two years later, he joined crosstown rival AC Milan for one campaign. He spent the 2000-01 season with Derby County in England’s Premier League and joined Kaiserslautern in Germany’s top flight the following season. West spent the final six seasons of his career playing for clubs in less heralded leagues like Serbia, Qatar, England’s second division and Iran. He played very few league games during the long autumn of his career, but he always seemed fit enough to land that next contract. When he left Iranian club Paykan FC in November 2007, he was 33 as far as the public was concerned. But he would have actually been 46 if Zecevic is correct. West has denied Zecevic’s allegations, according to Goal.com. He says his age was never an issue during his time at Partizan Belgrade. “I don’t really know what they are talking about and that’s why I don’t really have anything much to say,” Goal.com reports West told The Punch. ”But it is curious that they are raising such matters about 10 years after I left the place. Why was the matter not raised while I was there? Why talk about it long after I retired from the game.” It’s likely that this story will end with West’s denial, but wouldn’t it be great if he did, in fact, reach the top of the game long after conventional wisdom says he should have? The idea of him doing so might just reignite the faded dreams of those players over 30 around the world. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag. Photo via Facebook/Taribo West

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker