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Soccer-Colombian Mondragon becomes oldest World Cup player

Reuters

CUIABA, Brazil, June 24 (Reuters) - Colombia reserve goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon made World Cup history on Tuesday as the oldest man to play in the finals at the age of 43.

Mondragon, whose birthday was last Saturday, broke the record held by former Cameroon striker Roger Milla, who played at the age of 42 in the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman sent Mondragon off the bench in the 85th minute of their third and final Group C match against Japan with the south American team having already qualified for the last 16 and leading Japan 3-1.

The Colombia-dominated crowd erupted as Mondragon ran on to the pitch with tears streaming down his face and he embraced starting keeper David Ospina warmly as he left the pitch.

Mondragon was in Colombia's World Cup squads in 1994 and 1998, the last time the Andean country was in the finals when he started all three games before the team were eliminated at the group stage. (Reporting by Mary Milliken, editing by Ed Osmond)

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