BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
FORMER Rangers ace Thomas Buffel has made history by becoming the oldest Belgian to ever score a goal in the knockout phase of a European competition.
The gifted playmaker rolled back the years on Thursday night, climbing from the bench to grab a crucial strike against Celta Viga.
Buffel’s intervention ensures Genk’s Europa League quarter-final remains in the balance at 3-2 to the Spaniards.
At 36 years and 53 days, it also saw Buffel overtake Joseph Givard as the most senior player from Belgium to notch in the business end of a currently active Uefa club competition.
Givard had held that record for 58 years after scoring in the 1959 European Cup quarter-final for Standard Liege as a 35-year-old.
Buffel also finds himself ahead of Belgian greats, and fellow golden oldies, Luc Nilis, Daniel van Buyten, Bart Goor and Marc Wilmots, who all found the net well into their 30s.
Buffel, who arrived at Ibrox from Feyenoord in January 2005 in a £2.5 million deal, when on to find the net 16 times in 61 starts for Rangers, helping the Glasgow giants claim the SPL and League Cup double in 2004/05.