Barcelona veteran Gerard Pique equalled a long-standing Champions League record by scoring the only goal in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev, volleying home Jordi Alba‘s deep cross to secure Barca’s first points of their group-stage campaign.
In finding the net, Pique drew level with Real Madrid great Roberto Carlos as the joint-highest scoring defender in Champions League history. The 34-year-old centre-back scored his 16th goal in the competition as Barca beat Kiev, thus matching the tally amassed by the former Brazil left-back.
Pique’s achievement was no doubt made all the sweeter by the fact he also moves above Sergio Ramos on the all-time list, having shared second place with his former Spain teammate and ElClasico nemesis with 15 goals apiece (Stream Barcelona vs. Real Madrid LIVE Oct. 24 on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
With the first two goals coming for Manchester United during their 2007-08 Champions League-winning campaign, Pique has since scored 14 further European goals for Barcelona — the same amount that Ronaldinho scored for the Catalans in the same competition.
Pique’s goals have been an unfailing lucky charm for Barca, who haven’t lost any of the 14 Champions League games in which the centre-back has scored. Dynamo Kiev, meanwhile, are something of a lucky charm for Pique: three of his Champions League goals have come against the Ukrainians, including the very first of his career (for Manchester United) and the most recent two with Barca.
Pique is also now Barca’s oldest goal scorer in the Champions League (aged 34 years and 260 days), eclipsing a record previously held by Sylvinho (34 years, 241 days).
Pique is now at the summit of the all-time Champions League goal-scoring defenders list. With big names from several eras included in the upper echelons, the top six scorers share 655 appearances in the competition between them, and no fewer than 18 titles.
Roberto Carlos (16 goals in 128 appearances)
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 11, 2020
Famed for his fearsome free kicks and long-range strikes, Roberto Carlos was a regular on the scoresheet over the course of his Real Madrid career, during which he won three Champions Leagues.
Gerard Pique (16 goals in 124 appearances)
— La UEFA (@UEFAcom_it) February 2, 2019
Having first won the Champions League as a youngster with Manchester United in 2007-08, Pique has gone on to become a staple of the competition for Barca, with whom he has added another three titles to his haul. The centre-back doesn’t just score standard headers from set pieces either, as this silky finish against Inter duly proves.
Ivan Helguera (15 goals in 84 appearances)
A utility player for Real Madrid over many years, Helguera won the Champions League twice with Los Blancos before moving to Valencia. His most memorable goal for Real was probably a 25-yard missile against Bayern Munich in the 1999-2000 group stage, though unfortunately it was merely a consolation in a 4-1 defeat.
Sergio Ramos (15 goals in 129 appearances)
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) May 24, 2019
The only defender in the top six to score in a Champions League final, Ramos has actually scored twice in two separate finals during his Real Madrid days. The goals came against rivals Atletico Madrid in 2013-14 and 2015-16 — the former being the dramatic 93rd-minute equaliser that took the final to extra time before Real eventually went on to claim “La Decima” (their 10th European crown). Ramos will be hoping to add to his tally at Paris Saint-Germain, although injuries have so far prevented him from making his debut for his new club.
Dani Alves (12 goals in 114 appearances)
🎁🎂 @DaniAlvesD2 🎂🎁
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 6, 2019
Alves won the Champions League three times with Barcelona, scoring an impressive amount of goals for a right-back before leaving, first for Juventus and then Paris Saint-Germain. Even in his late 30s, Alves still knows how to hit the target, as his 10 goals over his two-year spell at Sao Paulo prove.
Christian Panucci (11 goals in 76 appearances)
The esteemed Italy international right-back represented AS Roma, AC Milan and Real Madrid in the Champions League and won the competition twice with the Rossoneri and Los Blancos. The first triumph came with Milan in 1993-94 and the second followed as part of the team which ended 1997-98.