Portugal's Pepe now second-oldest World Cup scorer – overtaking Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal defender Pepe celebrates after scoring his country's second goal against Switzerland in the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar
(Image credit: Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Pepe has become the second-oldest player ever to score at a World Cup, after putting Portugal (opens in new tab) 2-0 up against Switzerland (opens in new tab) in the last 16 of World Cup 2022 (opens in new tab) – and in doing so, he pushed teammate Cristiano Ronaldo out of second place on the list.

Ronaldo had only moved into that spot as he scored Portugal's first goal of this tournament – a penalty to set them up for a 3-2 win over Ghana in their opening game – which also saw him become the first player to net at five different World Cups.

But as he rose to head in Bruno Fernandes' corner shortly after the half-hour mark, Pepe shook up the ranking.

Notably, the veteran defender was also wearing the captain's armband – having taken it from Ronaldo, who was dropped from the starting 11 by manager Fernando Santos.

Only Cameroon legend Roger Milla (42 years, 39 days) has registered a World Cup goal at a more advanced age than Pepe – who is now the oldest scorer in a knockout match at the finals.

The latter record had been held since 1958 by Gunnar Gren, who gave Sweden the lead as they beat West Germany to reach the final on home soil.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...