The oldest top-scorers in UEFA's big competitions

With Aritz Aduriz on target to set a new record in the UEFA Europa League, we meet UEFA competitions' most venerable top hitmen, including Ferenc Puskás – who would have been 89 today.

Ferenc Puskás remains the oldest top scorer in any major UEFA competition
Ferenc Puskás remains the oldest top scorer in any major UEFA competition ©Getty Images

With eight goals already, Athletic Club's Aritz Aduriz could become the oldest top scorer in a single season in UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League history; he will be 35 years and 97 days old when the Basel final is played. UEFA.com meets the oldest leading marksmen from the annals of Europe's elite competitions.

Oldest top scorer in European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League
Ferenc Puskás (Real Madrid 1963/64 – aged 37 years, 56 days)

One of three players to end the 1963/64 European Cup season with seven goals – alongside Internazionale's final winner Sandro Mazzola and Vladica Kovačević of Partizan – Puskás's haul makes him the oldest player ever to finish a major European campaign as top scorer. Amazingly, the ageing Magyar had plenty of magic left in him – he was 38 years and 174 days old when notching his last UEFA goals (four in Madrid's 5-0 defeat of Feyenoord in September 1965), and 38 years and 280 days old when making his final UEFA appearance in Madrid's 2-2 draw at Kilmarnock in November 1965.

Oldest top scorer in UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League
Alan Shearer (Newcastle 2004/05 – aged 33 years, 278 days)

Alan Shearer in full flow in 2005
Alan Shearer in full flow in 2005©Getty Images

In the penultimate season of a ten-year stint with his home-town club, Shearer netted 11 goals in ten UEFA Cup outings in 2004/05 as Newcastle reached the quarter-finals, losing to Sporting CP. The Magpies had been semi-finalists the previous campaign but missed out against Marseille. Shearer's scant consolation: the leading marksman at EURO '96 is one of just three players to have top-scored in both a EURO and a UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League along with Klaus Allofs (West Germany 1980 and Köln 1986) and Karl-Heinz Riedle (Germany 1992 and Bremen 1992).

Oldest top scorer in UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Antonín Panenka (Rapid Wien 1984/85 – 36 years, 164 days)

Panenka’s classic 1976 final penalty
Panenka’s classic 1976 final penalty

The Czechoslovakia attacking midfielder is better known for his audacious chipped penalty in the final of the 1976 UEFA European Championship which has been much imitated ever since. However, he attained a different kind of career high when he – along with Dinamo Moskva's Valeri Gazzaev and Everton's Andy Gray – hit five goals in the 1984/85 European Cup Winners' Cup to share that season's scoring honour. Both Gray and Panenka featured in the final; the Scot struck first in Everton's 3-1 triumph, whereas the 36-year-old Panenka could not make his mark after coming out as a 67th-minute substitute.

Oldest top scorer in UEFA European Championship
Michel Platini (France 1984 – 29 years, six days)

Platini’s nine goals at EURO 1984
Platini’s nine goals at EURO 1984

Platini's nine goals on home soil when Les Bleus won the 1984 tournament remains a record for a single EURO – no other player has registered more than five times. He scored the first seven of them as a 28-year-old and the last two in the days following his 29th birthday. He was also leading marksman in the 1984/85 European Cup with Juventus – and, to date, is one of just four players to have top-scored in UEFA's top club and national-team competitions along with Gerd Müller (West Germany 1972 and Bayern 1972/73, 1973/74, 1974/75), Marco van Basten (Netherlands 1988 and AC Milan 1988/89) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal 2012 and Manchester United 2007/08 & Real Madrid 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15).

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