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Francisco Núñez Olivera from Extremadura is world's oldest man at 112 years and eight months
THE WORLD'S oldest man is Spanish and lives in the village of Bienvenida (Badajoz province) – which, curiously, translates as 'welcome' – having taken the top spot after the recent death of Yisrael Kristal, from Israel.
Francisco Núñez Olivera has always lived in the same town, which currently has 2,200 inhabitants, since he was born there in late December 1905.
He hopes – and fully expects – to live until at least the end of 2017, when he will be 113 years old.
Until he was 107, Francisco still went for walks around the village on his own, although when he became tired he would simply stop on street corners to chat to the other locals.
Now in a wheelchair, but still healthy, Francisco lives with his daughter María Antonia, aged 81.
He mostly puts his long life down to genetic factors – Francisco's brother Luis, who lives in Asturias, is 95 and his sister Jacoba, who also lives in Bienvenida, is 93 – but he has also enjoyed a healthy diet and the loss of most of his teeth with age has not changed this.
Francisco mostly eats vegetables and pulses he grows himself on his allotment – which he has tended to and lived off since earliest adulthood – and enjoys a 'decent glass of wine' regularly.
María Antonia, visibly proud of her dad, says his extremely elegant demeanour earned him the nickname of 'Marchena', after the famous flamenco singer of the same name from Sevilla.
The 'real' Marchena staged a concert in Bienvenida 91 years ago, just days before Francisco returned from his military service in the Spanish-owned city province of Ceuta on the northern Moroccan coast, appearing in the village impeccably dressed in a tailored suit and looking incredibly chic, healthy and handsome – something that did not go unnoticed among those he had grown up with.
Francisco has always been a kind, cheerful character with a 'good heart and good habits', says María Antonia, and even long past his 100th birthday, would regularly work on his allotment before going to the local bar to watch the football with his friends.
Even at 107, he would nip out to talk to people when he became bored with the match, says his daughter.
She says her dad has always been keen to educate himself, and was thrilled when, aged 98, a successful cataract operation meant he could once again read the newspaper every day.
Other than the two cataract operations, and having a kidney removed aged 90, Francisco has never been in hospital in his life.
And as well as the oldest man in the world, Francisco is also the oldest-ever Spanish service veteran – he fought in the Rif War in Morocco, and also in the Spanish Civil War.
María Antonia says her father's main secret has been 'living life how he wants to live it' and 'following a healthy lifestyle'.
“There's nobody else like me,” Francisco says proudly, revealing that he has been receiving numerous letters from as far away as 'Germany, Australia, New York and México' asking about him and requesting a photo of him.
Whenever people visit him, he always says: “I'm still here,” and as they leave, he asks, “Are you off already?”
Francisco's 113th birthday will be on December 13 this year.
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