Buffon aiming to surpass Maldini as oldest winner

Gianluigi Buffon could become the oldest player to win the UEFA Champions League if Juventus triumph in Cardiff, eclipsing Paolo Maldini, who won the last of his five titles in 2007.

Gianluigi Buffon arrives at the stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid
Gianluigi Buffon arrives at the stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid ©Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon could become the oldest winner of the UEFA Champions League if Juventus overcome Real Madrid in Cardiff  tonight.

Oldest UEFA Champions League winners
Paolo Maldini: AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool, 23/05/2007 – 38 years, 331 days
Pietro Vierchowod: Juventus 1-1 Ajax, 22/05/1996 – 37 years, 46 days
Alessandro Costacurta: AC Milan 0-0 Juventus, 28/05/2003 – 37 years, 34 days
Javier Zanetti: Internazionale Milano 2-0 Bayern München, 22/05/2010 – 36 years, 285 days
Marco Materazzi: Internazionale Milano 2-0 Bayern München, 22/05/2010 – 36 years, 276 days

The Italian goalkeeper and Juventus captain was previously the fifth oldest player to appear in the match, having featured in the Bianconeri's 3-1 defeat by Barcelona in 2015, aged 37 years, 129 days. However, two years on Buffon – who is noe 39 years, 126 days old – can surpass another Italian great, Maldini, should he captain Juve to glory at the National Stadium of Wales.

2007 final highlights: Milan 2-1 Liverpool
2007 final highlights: Milan 2-1 Liverpool

Maldini was aged 38 years, 331 days when he skippered AC Milan to victory against Liverpool in the 2007 final, the defender's fifth triumph in the competition.

Regardless of the outcome in Cardiff, Buffon is the second oldest player to figure in a UEFA Champions League final – a record held by Edwin van der Sar, who was aged 40 years, 211 days in Manchester United's 2011 loss to Barcelona.

Oldest UEFA Champions League finalists
Edwin van der Sar: Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United, 28/05/2011 – 40 years 211 days
Gianluigi Buffon: Juventus v Real Madrid, 03/06/2017 – 39 years 126 days
Paolo Maldini: AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool, 23/05/2007 – 38 years 331 days
Lothar Matthäus: Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munchen, 26/05/1999 – 38 years 66 days
Ryan Giggs: Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United, 28/05/2011 – 37 years 180 days