Who is the oldest player to score at a World Cup? List of top 10 oldest players to score a goal at FIFA tournament

Pepe is the oldest ever defender to score in a World Cup game

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Portuguese veteran Pepe became the oldest ever defender to score in a World Cup game at the age of 39 years and 283 days.

The former Real Madrid defender headed home the second goal of the game from a Bruno Fernandes corner and set the tone for his side’s emphatic 6-1 victory over Switzerland in the round of 16.

Pepe is regarded as one of the most talented defenders of his generation. He has 132 caps for Portugal and has scored on eight occasions. The Porto defender has represented his country at every major tournament since 2008 and was an integral part of helping his side lift the European Championships in 2016.

Pepe’s goal against Switzerland also makes him Portugal’s oldest ever goalscorer at a World Cup eclipsing the record previously set during the Qatar tournament by his team mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

But who is the oldest ever player to score a goal in the World Cup and when was the record set?

Who is the oldest player to score at the World Cup?

Cameroon legend Roger Milla holds the record of being the oldest ever footballer to score at the FIFA World Cup and broke the record in the 1994 World Cup by netting against Russia at the age of 42 years and 39 days.

Roger Milla is the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history. (Getty Images)Roger Milla is the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history. (Getty Images)
Roger Milla is the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history. (Getty Images)

Milla first appeared on the international scene in 1973 and established himself as a key figure for his country. Mila helped his side reach the African Cup of Nations final on three successive occasions in the 1980s and lifted the title on two occasions in 1984 and 1988. He also won the African Cup of Nations player of the tournament and won the golden boot on two occassions.

Milla announced his retirement from international football in 1988, at the age of 36 and was celebrated as one of his country’s greatest ever players. However, he made the remarkable decision to return to international duty after they qualified for the World Cup in 1990.

Cameroon were the dark horses of the 1990 World Cup and became the first African side in history to reach the quarter-final stage. Milla scored a total of four goals which at the time made him the oldest goalscorer at 38 years and 34 days.

Milla broke his own record four years later by scoring in the 1994 World Cup against Russia. However, the match was largely overshadowed by the heroics of Oleg Salenko who scored five goals for Russia during a 6-1 win.

Who are the oldest goal scorers in World Cup history

Roger Milla currently has a three year lead on the second oldest goalscorer Pepe who was 39-years old and 283 days old at the time of his goal against Switzerland.

The oldest player to be called up to the tournament in Qatar feature is Brazilian veteran Dani Alves at 39 years of age, meaning Roger Milla’s record is safe for another four years.

Here are the top 10 oldest goalscorers in World Cup history

  • Roger Milla (Cameroon) 42 years, 39 days - 1994 World Cup
  • Pepe (Portugal) 39 years, 283 days - 2022 World Cup
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 37 years, 295 days - 2022 World Cup
  • Gunnar Gren (Ghana) 37 years , 236 days - 1958 World Cup
  • Cuauchtemoc Blanco (Mexico) 37 years, 151 days - 2010 World Cup
  • Felipe Baloy (Panama) - 37 years, 120 days - 2018 World Cup
  • Obdulio Varela (Uruguay) - 36 years, 279 days - 1954 World Cup
  • Martin Palmero (Argentina) - 36 years, 227 days - 2010 World Cup
  • Georges Bregy (Switzerland) - 36 years, 152 days - 1994 World Cup
  • Tom Finney (England) 36 years, 64 days - 1958 World Cup