Who's the oldest men's player to score in the knockout stages of the World Cup? It's going to be one hell of a trivia question after the record was broken by an extremely unlikely character Tuesday — Portugal's Pepe is now the answer at 39 years and 283 days.
Portugal's World Cup Round of 16 match against Switzerland represented Pepe's 132nd cap, but heading into the game he'd only managed seven goals with his last actually coming in the last-16 of the 2018 World Cup against Uruguay.
The three-time Champions League winner and Euro 2016 Final Man of the Match, like his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, is a man for the biggest occasions, but with Ronaldo relegated to the bench against the Swiss, it was up to Pepe to provide the levitation and finish on Bruno Fernandes' 33rd-minute corner.
PEPE MAKES IT TWOTh 39-year-old gives Portugal a 2-0 lead in the first half pic.twitter.com/VMvXpvLzfR
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 6, 2022
39-year-old Pepe becomes the oldest men's player to score in the Knockout Stage at the FIFA World Cup pic.twitter.com/sjyKj6ETpx— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 6, 2022
Ronaldo and Portugal players swarm Pepe after his goal ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Wp7kfPWA5C— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 6, 2022
If Ronaldo wants this record, he'll have to play at the 2026 World Cup when he's 41, but a 43-year-old Pepe might be there to challenge him.