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1991 Ballon d'Or winner Jean-Pierre Papin has opted to pull his playing boots back on at the ripe old age of 45.

The ex-Bordeaux and Marseille legend, who last kicked a ball in the 1998-99 season, will don the colours of Facture-Biganos Boiens, who play at the tenth level of French football.

Club officials from the modest Aquitaine outfit revealed that Papin has signed a contract of an undisclosed duration, and should join up for training on Friday.

"This is a real Christmas present, and a really happy one," said president Patrice Rosselot to Le Monde.

"(Papin) joined out of friendship to our coach, Thierry Castets, in order to stay in top condition and to help a man with whom he talks a lot.

"His experience and know-how are going to help us a great team. And in terms of his image, we simply couldn't refuse him."

Papin, a striker who managed 30 goals in 54 games for the French national side, was last active in the footballing world as coach of Lens, whom he left after the ill-fated 2007-08 season in which they were relegated.
 
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