Top seven oldest goal scorers in Champions League semi-finals
Age is just a number, here are few footballers who are proving this right time again.
When it comes to performing in Europe’s top competition (Champions League) where you have the best teams from top leagues competing with each other, it is a huge feat to reach the final four. In the semi-final contested at the San Siro between Inter Milan and AC Milan, both of Inter’s goal scorers were 34 and gave Inter a very important 2-0 advantage against their local rivals.
Let’s take a look at the top seven oldest goal scorers in the Champions League semi-finals:
7. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (34y 109d)
Inter Milan vs AC Milan- 10th May 2023
Mkhitaryan was part of Mourinho’s Europa League-winning team at Manchester United and who can forget his scorpion kick goal against Southampton? He always turns up when the stakes are high, making key passes and important blocks. The former Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United player scored the second goal after just three minutes after Edin Dzeko’s opener.
Dimarco was released down the left and cut the ball back into the path of the onrushing Mkhitaryan, who marched through the Milan defense to stroke the ball past Maignan. He will be looking to win the Champions League on the second attempt, his previous finals finish was with Dortmund, where they lost to Bayern in a closely contested final.
6. Karim Benzema (34y 128d)
Real Madrid vs Manchester City – 26th April 2022
The French International arrived from Lyon in 2009 and formed a formidable partnership with Bale and Ronaldo to take Real Madrid to new heights. However, after both the superstars had moved on from the team and Madrid brought in new talents such as Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr, everyone thought Benzema will be among the squad-rotation players, but he had other plans altogether.
Not only did he become the go-to man, but he also achieved his career-best with 44 goals in a season across all competitions. Among these goals came two goals against City. His efforts helped Real Madrid in overturning a deficit in the second leg and eventually went on to lift the trophy.
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5. Karim Benzema (34y 136d)
Real Madrid vs Manchester City – 4th May 2022
Benzema broke his own record by eight days, becoming the fifth oldest goal scorer in the semi-final second leg. He started where he left off in Manchester, but the goal came when most fans had lost the hope of a comeback. City was ahead on aggregate 5-3 until the 90th minute of the game, then the magic of the Champions League happened.
Benzema assisted Rodrygo for the equalizer after super-sub Rodrygo had already scored earlier to send the match to extra time. Benzema sealed the tie by slotting in a penalty in the 95th minute. As they say the rest is history, Real went on to lift the Trophy after defeating Liverpool and Benzema won Ballon d’Or for his phenomenal season.
4. Xabi Alonso (34y 160d)
Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid – 3rd May 2016
In one of the most closely contested semi-finals between the two champions of LaLiga and Bundesliga, Xabi Alonso took centre-stage. The veteran’s goal came at a crucial time to bring Bayern Munich one step closer to the Champions League Final. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid man was hoping to win his third Champions League title, this time for the German giants.
He put the ball into the net from a free kick, after Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski displayed his acumen trickery, to slip the ball through the pile and past the Atletico Madrid‘s goalkeeper for a goal. Bayern would lose the tie after Muller failed to convert a penalty, giving Atletico a pass to the final for an all-Madrid Derby affair.
3. Phillip Cocu (34y 187d)
PSV vs AC Milan- 4th May 2005
A brace from Cocu sent PSV Eindhoven to the finals of the Champions League if it wasn’t for the last-minute goal by Ambrosini. Park Trailing the leg by 2-0 after their defeat in San Siro, the Milan team arrived in the Netherlands without suspecting what was awaiting them. PSV were leading 1-0 before Cocu equalized on aggregate for PSV after brilliant wing play from Young-Pyo Lee, who crossed brilliantly to the far post. His delivery was just begging to be nodded home and Cocu duly obliged with a firm downward header.
After conceding in the 90th minute, a stunning volley from Philip Cocu gave PSV a chance as within seconds of the kick-off, the ball was lumped forward from the halfway line, Jan Venegoor of Hesselink flicked it on and Cocu stuck out a leg and steered the ball over Dida and inside the far post. A brilliant goal against the eventual winners which had legends like Dida, Cafu, Maldini, and Seedrof in their defense.
2. Edin Dzeko (37y 54d)
Inter Milan vs AC Milan- 10th May 2023
The former Manchester player from the blue side of the city has redeemed himself for Inter by becoming the second oldest player to score at this stage of the competition. He was City’s main man before Pep took charge of the team, then also he was their main man along with Aguero and Negredo.
He played for Roma and then arrived at Inter 2 years ago and delivered for them when it meant the most. He put Inter ahead after just eight minutes as Dzeko outmuscled Davide Calabria from Federico Dimarco’s corner and thrashed a volley from 12 yards past the helpless Mike Maignan in the Milan goal. Dzeko could be playing against his former side should Inter qualify for the final and City defeat Real at the Etihad.
1. Ryan Giggs (37y 148d)
Manchester United vs FC Schalke – 26th April 2011
Graduating from the class of ’91, this player holds a number of records for Manchester United. It is no surprise to see this prolific player on the top of this list, the goal came against Schalke in the away leg in Germany. Giggs was displaying his hunger for goal-scoring since the start of the match when he had already fired a few shots at Neuer’s goal and sent a raking effort beyond the far post.
It would be the persistent Giggs who put his side into the lead after 67 minutes. He was released by an excellent reverse pass from Wayne Rooney and slipped home the finish with ease. With victory in the tie already certain, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will enter a third Champions League final in four years but lost to Guardiola’s prime Barcelona.
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