Marco Ballotta, Francesco Totti and Paolo Maldini are among the UEFA Champions League's high-achieving veterans.
Article top media content
Italian players predominate in our lists of veteran high-achievers in the history of the UEFA Champions League; the oldest players, scorers, final winners and final scorers are all Serie A stalwarts.
Two current players could potentially make it into our rankings this season; Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will be 42 years and 208 days old on 23 August, the day of the UEFA Champions League final, and would be the oldest final player (and potentially scorer and winner) if his side make it to the decider. Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will be 37 years and 132 days old on the same date, and potentially could become the second oldest UEFA Champions League winner.
Oldest UEFA Champions League players
43 years and 252 days: Marco Ballotta (Lazio) – vs Real Madrid, 11/12/07
41 years and 317 days: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) – vs Leverkusen, 11/12/19
41 years 255 days: Olexandr Shovkovskiy (Dynamo Kyiv) – vs Napoli, 13/09/16
41 years and 206 days: Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea) – vs Atlético, 22/04/14
40 years and 211 days: Alessandro Costacurta (AC Milan) – vs AEK Athens, 21/11/06
"You need to stay motivated,” said Marco Ballotta as the goalkeeper explained how he became the oldest player to appear in the UEFA Champions League and Serie A. "But the most important thing is to keep having fun, both in training and in matches. Add to that an injury-free career and you have the answer." The four oldest UEFA Champions League players are all keepers; defender Alessandro Costacurta is the oldest outfielder.
Oldest UEFA Champions League goalscorers
38 years 59 days: Francesco Totti (Roma) – vs CSKA Moskva, 25/11/14
37 years 289 days: Ryan Giggs (Manchester United) – vs Benfica, 14/09/11
37 years 86 days: Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan) – vs Real Madrid, 03/11/10
37 years 71 days: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan) – vs Tottenham Hotspur, 20/10/10
36 years 338 days: Laurent Blanc (Manchester United) – vs Olympiacos v, 23/10/02
Forward Francesco Totti became the oldest goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history when he netted at Manchester City a few days after his 38th birthday; Roma’s captain then extended his lead when he struck against CSKA Moskva later the same season. "I've said before: I am 38 but I don't feel it,” he told UEFA.com.
Oldest UEFA Champions League winners
38 years, 331 days: Paolo Maldini (AC Milan) – vs Liverpool, 23/05/07
37 years, 46 days: Pietro Vierchowod (Juventus) – vs Ajax, 22/05/96
37 years, 34 days: Alessandro Costacurta (AC Milan) – vs Juventus, 28/05/03
36 years, 285 days: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan) – vs Bayern München, 22/05/10
36 years, 276 days: Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan) – vs Bayern München, 22/05/10
Oldest UEFA Champions League finalists
40 years 211 days: Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United) – vs Barcelona, 28/05/11
39 years 126 days: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) – vs Real Madrid, 03/06/17
38 years 331 days: Paolo Maldini (AC Milan) – vs Liverpool, 23/05/07
38 years 66 days: Lothar Matthäus (Bayern Munchen) –vs Manchester United, 26/05/99
37 years 180 days: Ryan Giggs (Manchester United) – vs Barcelona, 28/05/11
Oldest UEFA Champions League final goalscorer
36 years 333 days: Paolo Maldini (AC Milan) – vs Liverpool, 25/05/05
AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini became the competition’s oldest final scorer the night his side endured perhaps the most famous defeat in recent UEFA Champions League history, surrendering a 3-0 lead in Istanbul before losing on penalties. His team made amends in the 2007 final, their 2-1 win over Liverpool in Athens enabling Maldini to become the oldest player to lift the trophy.