Football can be a difficult sport to master once the players go past the age of 35. But every now and then we come across exceptional talents who prove that age is just a number and one can play at the highest level if they maintain the right discipline and determination. 

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to testify that age is not a barrier in sport. The Portuguese striker scored against Ghana in FIFA World Cup 2022 and is now the second-oldest European player to score in the tournament, and the third-oldest overall. Fellow Portuguese player Pepe is the oldest European player to register a goal in the FIFA World Cup after netting against Switzerland in the quarter-final of the 2022 edition.

Cameroonian legend Roger Milla is the oldest footballer to have scored at the FIFA World Cup. 

Here’s a list of the oldest players to have scored in the world’s biggest football tournament. 

Oldest goal scorers in FIFA World Cup

Name (Country)




Roger Milla (Cameroon)

42 years, 39 days



Pepe (Portugal)

39 years, 284 days



Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

37 years, 295 days



Gunnar Gren (Sweden)

37 years, 236 days

West Germany


Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Mexico)

37 years, 151 days



Felipe Baloy (Panama)

37 years, 120 days



Obdulio Varela (Uruguay)

36 years, 279 days



Martin Palermo (Argentina)

36 years, 227 days



Georges Bregy (Switzerland)

36 years, 152 days



Tom Finney (England)

36 years, 64 days

Soviet Union


Miroslav Klose (Germany)

36 years, 29 days




Roger Milla (Cameroon) - 42 years, 39 days

Roger Milla is arguably one of the greatest African footballers of all time and his exploits in the 1990 World Cup in Italy remain etched in golden letters of football’s history books. He came out of retirement to represent Cameroon again in 1994, where he scored one goal against Russia. 

Milla came off the bench and scored for the Cameroonians early in the second half, but Russia emerged victorious 6-1.  

Pepe (Portugal) - 39 years, 284 days

Portuguese defender Pepe is considered as one of the best defenders of his generation. Having achieved great success at club level with Real Madrid, Pepe also won the UEFA Euro 2016 with Portugal.

In the FIFA World Cup 2022 quarter-final against Switzerland, Pepe scored the second goal in Portugal's 6-1 success.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - 37 years, 295 days 

Portugal’s ambition of winning their first-ever FIFA World Cup rests heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoulders, who scored a goal in the opening match for his team at Qatar 2022. 

He converted a penalty in the second half to become the first player to score in five different editions of this tournament. Ronaldo, aged 37 years and 295 days as of that day, became the second oldest player to score in the FIFA World Cup. 

Gunnar Gren (Sweden) - 37 years, 236 days 

Gunnar Gren is renowned for his time with AC Milan and the forward was a pivotal force for Sweden when they won the Olympic Gold in 1948. A decade later, Sweden also reached the World Cup final where they lost 5-2 to Brazil and Gren in late 30s was instrumental.

He scored just one goal which came in the semi-final against West Germany. He was aged 37 years and 236 days when his match-winner eliminated the defending champions and the oldest goal-scorer record stood with him for a longer duration than any other player (broken by Milla after 36 years).  

Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Mexico) - 37 years, 151 days

Cuahtemoc Blanco is one of the longest-serving Mexican footballers of all time, who donned the national jersey 119 times to score 38 goals. 

He was the first Mexican player to score in three editions of the World Cup and he achieved this record at South Africa 2010. He scored in an unforgettable 2-0 win over France that edition at the age of 37 years and 151 days. 

Felipe Baloy (Panama) - 37 years, 120 days

Felipe Baloy scripted history in the 2018 World Cup when he scored Panama’s first-ever goal in the tournament. It came against a resurgent English team who went on to reach the semi-finals and that was the only goal Panama scored in their first appearance at this stage.

Baloy, who has 103 international caps to his credit, scored three goals in his career and one of those goals earned him a place in this elite list. 

39 years, 284 days at Qatar 2022

Pepe, who is now the second-oldest footballer to score at the World Cup, is also the oldest to score in Qatar 2022. Portuguese teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, is second in this list, having scored at the age of 37 years and 295 days against Ghana. 

Ronaldo's oldest rival Lionel Messi, aged 35 years, 159 days, is next, having scored for Argentina against Poland.

Featured Image: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo