Socceroos legend Mark Schwarzer has carved out another piece of history, becoming the oldest player to feature in the knockout stages of Europe’s Champions League.
Socceroos legend Mark Schwarzer has carved out another piece of history this morning, becoming the oldest player to feature in the knockout stages of Europe-s Champions League.
The 41-year-old was called into the fray against Atletico Madrid following an injury to Petr Cech, as Chelsea played out a goalless draw in the first leg of their semi-final matchup.
The Blues' Czech goalkeeper landed awkwardly after an aerial collision while defending an early corner, paving the way for Schwarzer to take the field in the 18th minute. Ironically Chelsea-s on-loan ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois was commanding things at the other end.
“It happened very quickly, but I-m getting used to it,” Schwarzer told ITV after keeping a cleansheet. “I just tried to do my job but like all the others I was up for it.
“We knew if we could match their determination our quality would shine through.”
Schwarzer put in an assured performance at the Vicente Calderon Stadium, being called upon to defuse numerous Atletico attacking raids, including shots from Gabi Fernandez and Diego Costa. Manager Jose Mourinho choosing to deploy a defensive game plan away to the side that sits top of the Spanish La Liga standings.
The 109-capped former Socceroo looks set to play an integral role in the remainder of Chelsea-s season, with initial reports ruling Cech out for the remainder of the season.
This will include this weekend-s top-of-the-table league clash against Liverpool which will go a long way to deciding the English Premier League title, as well as next week-s Champions League return leg at Stamford Bridge.
Schwarzer-s appearance saw him surpass the age mark previously held by Manchester United ‘keeper Edwin van der Sar. It also comes on the back of his weekend league appearance which saw Schwarzer become the oldest player to take the field for Chelsea in their loss to Sunderland.
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