Lionel Messi made David Beckham retire last time an Englishman as old as Liverpool star James Milner played in Champions League knockout stage April 13, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer
James Milner proves that age is just a number, as he becomes the oldest Englishman to start a UEFA Champions League knockout tie since 2013.
Even though the Liverpool midfielder is in the twilight of his career, he is still proving to be crucial to Jurgen Klopp as his side looks to complete the job against Benfica in their second-leg quarter-final tie.
Signing from Man City for free in 2015, Milner has been one of the most reliable players in the Reds’ recent history.
Both on and off the pitch he is a leader, and even though he turned 36 in January, Klopp still wants to keep him around for a little bit longer.
The three-time Premier League champion is out of contract at Anfield this summer, but has been offered a one-year extension by the club.
This season, Milner has featured heavily in all competitions, playing 33 games so far.
It’s also a substantial achievement, as he has now become the oldest Englishman to start a UEFA Champions League knockout tie since David Beckham for PSG against Barcelona.
As of today, Milner is 36 years and 99 days old, while Beckham was 37 years and 355 days old when he came on as a late substitute against Barcelona on April 10, 2013.
Should he still be competing at that age, Milner will hope he fares better than the Manchester United legend, who decided to retire after Lionel Messi ran him ragged that night.
The last side Beckham played for, PSG, went toe-to-toe with the Catalonians, and only went out on away goals after the two ties ended 3-3 on aggregate.
Beckham said: “I probably decided to retire when Messi was running past me.
“We were ahead. [Messi] came on and Barcelona scored.
“Despite my age, I enjoyed playing and the team was good in both games. We did things to be proud of. We didn’t lose to them.”
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