It has been a decade since France goalscoring legend Jean-Pierre Papin last appeared on a football pitch in a competitive fashion, but at the ripe age of 45 years old, one of the greatest strikers of his generation has come out of retirement to join AS Facture-Biganos Boiens in one of the most bizarre transfers for some time.
Papin, the 1991 Ballon d’Or winner, is unlikely to be out of his depth when putting on his football boots again. AS Facture-Biganos Boiens are an amateur side who play in the 10th level of French football, and one would expect that the former Marseille, Bayern Munich, and AC Milan striker should still have too much natural ability and guile for his peers.
According to reports, Papin has signed a contract of an undisclosed duration and should join up for training on Friday, with president Patrice Rosselot quoted as saying: “This is a real Christmas present, and a really happy one. (Papin) joined out of friendship to our coach, Thierry Castets, in order to stay in top condition and to help a man with whom he talks a lot. His experience and know-how are going to help us a great team. And in terms of his image, we simply couldn’t refuse him.”
If Papin can call upon just a fraction of the talent he showed in his heyday, the non-league French outfit will overjoyed. Papin scored an incredible 215 goals in 410 career matches, as well as 30 goals for Les Bleus in just 54 appearances.
Video evidence of Jean-Pierre Papin in his prime can be seen here.