FORMER Germany captain Lothar Matthaus has issued an extraordinary statement on his Facebook page - by promising to come out of retirement at the age of 52 if he receives 1 million likes on his official page.
Matthaus, who last played in 2000 for the now-defunct New York / New Jersey Metrostars, appeared in five World Cups, captaining the West Germany squad to glory in 1990 and racking up 150 caps for his country.
The Facebook post shows a picture of the player holding up a sign in written German, making the pledge.
Last seen coaching Bulgaria in 2011, it seems very unlikely that many teams would take a punt on a player of Matthaus’ vintage. Espolado Hokkaido in Japan can boast a 46-year-old strriker in Kazuyoshi Miura whilst Welsh side Llanelli’s 45-year-old defender Andy Legg retired last year. Brazilian legend Rivaldo, meanwhile, is still banging in the goals for Angolan side Kabuscorp at the (relatively) tender age of 40.
But at 52 years old, a comeback seems highly unlikely for Matthaus - even without the fact that his Facebook page still has some way to go before reaching the required number of likes. The midfielder, who won FIFA World Player of the Year in 1990 and was awarded German Footballer of the Year at the age of 38 in 1999, spent the majority of his career with Bayern Munich, and entered football management on retirement, managing the likes of Rapid Vienna and the Hungarian national side.