Five Oldest Goalscorers In The German Bundesliga In The 21st Century
In this series, we take a look at the oldest goalscorers in each of the top five European leagues—Premier League, La Liga, German Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1.
After looking at the five oldest goalscorers in La Liga and Premier League, since the turn of the century, in the first and second installments, in this third one, we take a look at players who hold the same record in the German Bundesliga.
At number five, and the youngest in this list is Krasimir Balakov. The Bulgarian is the fifth-oldest player to score a goal in the German Bundesliga since the start of the 21st century.
An attacking midfielder who began his playing career in his home country of Bulgaria with FK Etar, Balakov’s career took him to Portugal and Germany where he played for football clubs: Sporting CP and VfB Stuttgart, respectively. He played for Stuttgart from 1995 to 2003, during which he scored 73 goals with 54 of them coming in the Bundesliga league.
One of those goals — in fact, his last goal for the Stuttgart club and in the Bundesliga — ended up as the goal which would achieve him this record. The goal came on the 24th of May 2003, in the last matchday of the 2002/03 Bundesliga season.
In a match between Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg, Krasimir started on the left-hand side of a midfield four. He scored the second goal of the game in the 23rd minute, and his team won the match 2:0.
This goal also made him the oldest player to score for the club in their history. However, his record was broken just two years later in 2005 by the player we are going to talk about next.
Zvonimir Soldo was a Dinamo Zagreb youth product. He then played for their first team (NK Dinamo Zagreb) before moving on to play for other clubs such as NK Zadar, Inter Zapresic and Vfb Stuttgart.
The defensive midfielder arrived at Stuttgart in July of 1996 and played for them till his retirement in July of 2006.
In his ten years at the club, Soldo scored 15 goals in 301 Bundesliga appearances. However, his last goal for the club would be the most significant for him personally.
On the 5th of March 2005, Soldo scored his final goal in the Bundesliga, and also for Stuttgart. In a match against Arminia Bielefeld, he scored the first of the two goals that Stuttgart would score.
Zvonimir Soldo (left) celebrates a goal with Jon Dahl Tomasson (right) in a match against Arminia Bielefeld on the 10th of September 2005 (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Bongarts/Getty Images)
His 47th-minute header from a free-kick would go on to make him the fourth-oldest player to score a goal in the German top-flight in the 21st century, and also make him the oldest goalscorer in VfB Stuttgart’s history at 37 years, four months, and three days of age, overtaking Krasimir Balakov.
Polish-born German player Dariusz Wosz never managed to play for a well-known top German side. However, he did make 324 Bundesliga appearances playing for sides such as Hertha BSC and VfL Bochum.
He made the most appearances of his career i.e., 378 for VfL Bochum, both in the top-tier and the second-tier of German league football.
In those appearances, the attacking midfielder scored 45 goals. In all of those goals, his last one was probably the most memorable for him.
He played his last game for Bochum on the 19th of May 2007 against Borussia Monchengladbach. He came on as a substitute in the 70th minute when his team was in a one-goal lead, and sealed a victory with a late left-footed strike in the 82nd minute.
This goal made him the third-oldest player to score in the Bundesliga in the 21st century and also the oldest to score for VfL Bochum at 37 years, 11 months, and 11 days of age.
Michael Tarnat spent most of his footballing career playing in Germany for clubs such as Bayern Munich, Hannover 96, Karlsruher SC, and MSV Duisburg.
Amongst them, Hannover was the club he spent the last years of his career with, scoring nine goals while playing 113 games.
His last goal, which also made him the second-oldest player to score in the Bundesliga in this century, came against VfL Wolfsburg during the 2007/08 season.
In a match against Wolfsburg on the 21st of October 2007, Tarnat started on the left-hand side of a 4-man defense. He first made an assist in the 28th minute and then scored one himself in the 34th minute, leveling the score between the two teams. The match ended in a 2:2 draw.
His header against Wolfsburg pushed him to the second position in the list of oldest players to score in the German league since the year 2000 and also made him the oldest to do so for Hannover at 37 years, 11 months, and 24 days of age.
Claudio Pizarro is the youngest player on this list when it comes to his overall age but the oldest to score a goal in the Bundesliga in the 21st century. The former SV Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich player is just 41 years of age now, but he scored his final goal in the Bundesliga in 2019, when he was 40.
The center-forward scored the goal (that made this record) on the 18th of May 2019 in the last league game of the 2018/19 season. SV Werder Bremen were playing RB Leipzig that day. Pizarro was not included in the starting lineup but came on later in the 74th minute.
When he came onto the pitch, Werder were on a one-goal lead. However, Leipzig equalized on the 86th minute. Then came Pizarro’s time, who scored in the 88th minute to win the game for Werder.
This goal made him the oldest player to score in the league since the turn of the century. However, he was still unlucky in one sense as he missed a chance to make his record even harder to beat.
Pizarro was 40 years, seven months, and 15 days old when he scored this goal. He had many chances to score during the 2019/20 season but wasn’t able to net a single goal in the last season of his professional career. Had he scored one, he would have made an even more impressive record at 41 years of age.
Nevertheless, he is still the oldest to do so, the oldest player to score a goal in the league since it began in the 1963/64 season, and the oldest to do so for Werder Bremen, albeit not through this goal.