Lazio’s youth team player Joseph Minala hit back at “envy” after media and fans questioned whether he’s really 17.
The Cameroon player’s passport says he was born on August 24 1996, but websites and some supporters who watched him in action raised doubts.
He only joined Lazio in December and signed a contract that runs to June 2016, playing for the club in the Viareggio Youth tournament.
“These are all unfair allegations and now Joseph is calm,” agent Diego Tavano told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He had a difficult time growing up. If you talk to him you’ll realise he is in every way a 17-year-old lad.”
Minala also hit back on Twitter. “Envy is the weakness of man and people of poor souls feel pain seeing others in Serie A. I love you all. Forza Lazio.”
This was a photograph he posted on Twitter of himself standing next to 36-year-old Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale.