"--IANS/EFE"
Sao Paulo, June 23 (IANS/EFE) Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon praised his team's current Argentinian coach Jose Pekerman for convincing him not to retire.

Pekerman convinced me to continue playing. I will never forget that. If it wasn't for him, I would have retired two years ago. I feel privileged for being here, it was my best birthday ever, said the goalkeeper, who celebrated his 43rd birthday Saturday, reports EFE.

The oldest player of the FIFA World Cup, Mondragon was Colombia's first choice keeper in the 1998 World Cup too.

However, he didn't reveal if he will take part in his team's match against Japan Tuesday, a team which he described as quick and difficult.

Mondragon, who will retire after the World Cup, is playing in his third World Cup, being in the team in 1994, when he did not play a game, and 1998, when he played three games.

--IANS/EFE

ss/bg


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