Five oldest goalscorers in FIFA World Cup history

Each edition of the biannual mega-event is filled with records, moments and goals that propel a human into demigod status.

Now that Worlds 2022 has begun we thought it would be fun to look back at previous tournaments and recall some of the most notable moments updated. World Cups are the celebration of the beautiful sport that is soccer. Records, goals and moments that propel people into demigod status, you name it and you’ll find it in almost every edition of the biannual tournament. We decided to look at some of those records: records that make you wonder if the players are even human. We look at the five oldest goalscorers in World Cup history.

5. Felipe Baloy – 37 years, 120 days (2018)

Panama played in a World Cup for the first time in 2018. The Central American country beat the United States in qualifying for Russia. Their chances of shocking the tournament’s odds were slim. They were in a strong group with Belgium and England. But Felipe Baloy celebrated after scoring Panama’s first-ever World Cup goal against England.

Even though the Three Lions beat them 6-1, the defender will always remember that goal. Baloy, who came on as a substitute nine minutes from goal, is the oldest player to ever score in his first World Cup game. He is also the fourth oldest player to ever score in a World Cup.

4. Cuauhtemoc Blanco – 37 years, 151 days (2010)

Somehow, Mexicans manage to outlive the average population. Only four players in history (including two Mexicans) have featured in all five World Cups. After Qatar 2022, that number will rise to eight, with Andres Guardado and Guillermo Ochoa keeping Mexico’s presence at 50% in the Club of Nations with at least five World Cup wins.

Despite missing the record, Cuauhtémoc Blanco became the first Mexican to score in three different World Cups. When he scored a penalty against France in 2010 at the age of 40, he became the third oldest player to score at a World Cup.

3. Gunnar Gren – 37 years, 236 days (1958)

In 1958, Sweden hosted the World Cup and made it to the final before losing to Brazil, whose side featured a young Pele. Gunnar Gren was instrumental in Sweden’s progress to the final, starting and scoring in the semi-final win over West Germany. After Sweden’s 3-1 win, Gren was named to the World Cup All-Star Squad.

Immediately after the end of the tournament, the former AC Milan attacker resigned from international football. He played his last international match in October 1958 against Denmark. Only four other players in Swedish history scored more than his 32 goals in 58 games before he retired. It took everyone else 64 years to break Gren’s record and join the list of the World Cup’s oldest goalscorers.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo – 37 years 295 days

Ronaldo has scored so many goals that every time he scores now he breaks a record. A goal he scored in the first group match of the 2022 World Cup made him the second-oldest goalscorer in FIFA World Cup history.

The former Manchester United forward broke the previous record set by Sweden’s Gunnar Gren, who was 37 years and 236 days old when he scored against Germany in the 1958 FIFA World Cup semi-final. This is Ronaldo’s chance to make amends.

Recently, Cristiano Ronaldo was in the news for all the wrong reasons after he gave Piers Morgan a explosive interview in which he claimed his former club Manchester United had “betrayed” him. When the World Cup is over, the 37-year-old will try to stake his claim to a club by pointing at his goal in Portugal’s opener against Ghana.

1. Roger Milla – 42 years, 39 days (1994)

Veteran Cameroon forward Roger Milla was brought out of retirement for his team’s performance at Italia ’90 and he promptly scored and danced his way into World Cup legend.

The 38-year-old scored four goals and became one of the breakthrough stars of the tournament, and his trademark celebration dance around the corner flag became an icon of the 1990 World Cup this managed.

In recognition of his outstanding play, Milla was once again named African Footballer of the Year, a whopping 14 years after he first won the honor. Not content with that, however, he returned to the World Cup four years later to break his own record.

While Milla’s 1994 side, The Indomitable Lions, did not progress through the group stage, he scored the decisive goal in a record win over Russia. Just over a month after turning 42, he scored in a World Cup, becoming the oldest player to ever do so.

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