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 By Ben Gladwell

Andrea Pierobon becomes Italian football's oldest player

Andrea Pierobon in action for Cittadella in 2012.

Goalkeeper Pierobon Andrea became the oldest player to appear in a professional Italian football fixture when he was picked by coach Claudio Foscarini for Cittadella's 1-1 draw with Modena on Saturday.

Pierobon has said football has changed considerably over the past three decades as he donned his gloves at the age of 45 and a half to appear for Cittadella in Italy's Serie B last weekend.

Born on July 18, 1969, Pierobon took the place of Alex Valentini, 26, and the chances are it will not have been his last appearance either. "I base my choices on who is in better shape, physically and mentally," said Foscarini about his choice to promote Pierobon to his new No. 1.

In both departments, Pierobon says he will not let anybody down.

"It was a surprise and I didn't expect it, but I always aim to be ready," Pierobon told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It may sound incredible, but I am still enjoying myself. You feel you've already reached your peak, but then you ask yourself what you can still do and you expect more."

Pierobon made his professional debut with Cittadella in 1987. He never got to play in Serie A, but has a dignified career in the lower leagues, making 263 appearances for Spal in the third and fourth divisions of the Italian game before returning to Cittadella in 2005, helping them to promotion to the second flight two seasons later.

He extended his contract by a further year last summer, although there is no sign that this year will be his last.

"We'll see. Once the season ends, I sit down with the club and decide to stay. Let's think of staying up first," he said.

"Everything has change since I started. Back then, you were looking forward to the 90th minute so you could go for a few drinks with your friends at the bar afterwards.

"There was a different atmosphere. It was simpler, maybe even nicer. There was no internet and far less TV, but there's no point getting all nostalgic. My role has been revolutionised and it has become far more difficult. You've got to be good with your feet too now.

"I'm ready [to play again]. I hope to feel that tingling sensation again."

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