Joseph Minala signed with Lazio as a teenager nine years ago but faced accusations of looking significantly older than his claimed age. Now, almost a decade later, he has departed Italy in search of a new career challenge.
Back in 2014, a photo of Minala at 17 years old went viral on social media, capturing attention everywhere. The young midfielder’s appearance certainly gave the impression of being older than his stated age, suggesting a difficult life journey during his formative years.
Minala not only had an older appearance but also became the subject of scrutiny when an African football website alleged that he was actually 42 years old, leading to an investigation in Italy.
While Minala remained with Lazio from 2014 to 2021, his contributions to the first team were limited, appearing only four times for the “Biancocelesti.” Instead, he spent time on loan at various Italian clubs, including Salernitana and Bari, accumulating around 67 appearances. In 2020, he briefly ventured into China’s Super League with Qingdao Huanghai.
Last summer, Joseph Minala, a native of Cameroon, joined Olbia, a team competing in the third tier of Italian football known as Serie C. However, he terminated his contract with the third-division club after just 12 matches, choosing to leave Italian football behind.
At present, Joseph Minala has found a new home in Latvia, playing for Liepāja after joining the team as a free agent. Since his arrival, the 26-year-old midfielder has participated in two matches as a substitute. Naturally, if the allegations against Minala in 2014 were true, he would have been 52 years old, making his presence in a leading team, even in Latvia, at that age quite remarkable.