From the youngest ever FIFA World Cup players at 17 years old to a 21-year-old who scored the winning goal in a World Cup final. Discover the best young players to have ever graced the field! This article takes a look at the ten youngest players to have made an impact on their teams and also left behind unforgettable memories. Get ready for some inspiring stories and age-defying feats!
The best Youngest FIFA World Cup Players
Being the youngest of the FIFA World Cup players is one approach to grabbing the public’s attention. Many of these men, though, are now forgotten since they had lackluster careers. Nonetheless, as we’ll see, several of them are among the greatest names in football history. This top ten ranking takes into account only one young player from each event. Including the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Here are some of the most well-known names among the FIFA World Cup’s youngest players.
Norman Whiteside (1982)
He was only 17 years old when he played in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Making him the youngest player ever to compete in the tournament. A striker for Northern Ireland, Whiteside scored two goals in the group stage against Yugoslavia and also France. He also became the youngest player ever to score in a World Cup match. Though his team didn’t make it past the first round. Whiteside’s impressive performance earned him recognition as one of the best young players in the world.
Theo Walcott (2006)
He was 17 years old when he played in his first World Cup in 2006. He didn’t see much action on the field, but he did become the youngest player ever to score a goal in the World Cup. Walcott would go on to play in two more World Cups, but he has yet to score another goal.
Vladimir Petrović (1974)
Petrović was born in 1974 in the former Yugoslavia. He played for the Yugoslavian national team at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where he was the youngest player on the team. He also played for Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade in the Yugoslav First League. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, he played for Serbia and Montenegro at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He retired from international football in 2007.
At only 20 years old, Tostão was the youngest member of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning squad. He played every minute of the tournament, also scoring four goals, including one in the final against Italy.
Tostão started his career with Atlético Mineiro, before moving to Cruzeiro in 1968. He was a key member of Cruzeiro’s successful teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Also winning three consecutive Campeonato Brasileiro titles between 1969 and 1971. In 1972, he was named Brazilian Footballer of the Year.
After retiring from playing in 1977, Tostão became a successful doctor and writer. He has written several books on football, including an autobiography entitled “Tostão: My First World Cup”.
Christian Eriksen (2010)
He is a Danish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for the English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the Denmark national team. He made his senior debut with Ajax in 2010, helping the club to win four consecutive Eredivisie titles. In 2013, he was named Dutch Footballer of the Year after scoring 12 goals and providing 19 assists in 33 league matches.
Eriksen represented Denmark at various youth levels before making his senior international debut in March 2010. He helped Denmark qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he became the youngest Dane to ever play in a World Cup match. He also represented Denmark at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
In June 2018, he was included in Denmark’s final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Samuel Eto’o (1998)
Eto’o was only 20 years old when he played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He was born in Cameroon and began his professional career with the Real Madrid youth team. He made his senior debut for Cameroon in 1997 and quickly became a regular starter for the national team. In 1998, he was part of the Cameroon squad that won the African Cup of Nations and reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Eto’o scored two goals in the tournament, including a memorable goal against Italy in the group stage. After the World Cup, he continued to play for Cameroon and also had successful spells with FC Barcelona and Inter Milan. He is currently the all-time leading scorer for Cameroon with 56 goals in 118 appearances.
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Gianni Rivera (1962)
Rivera is widely considered to be one of the best young players to ever play in the FIFA World Cup. He was a member of the Italian national team that won the World Cup in 1962, and he played an integral role in their victory.
Rivera was only 20 years old when he made his World Cup debut, but he immediately made an impact on the tournament. He scored two goals in Italy’s opening match against Chile, and he also assisted on a goal in their second match against West Germany. Rivera continued to impress throughout the tournament and ultimately helped Italy win the World Cup.
Although Rivera only played in one World Cup, he left a lasting impression on those who saw him play. He was a gifted player with superb technique, and he was able to make an impact on the biggest stage. Rivera is considered one of the best young players to ever play in the FIFA World Cup.
Kylian Mbappe (2018)
Mbappe is a striker for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the France national team. He is widely considered to be one of the best players in the world, and he has been described as a future Ballon d’Or winner.
Mbappe first came to prominence at the age of 16 when he was called up to the senior squad of AS Monaco. He made his professional debut in 2015 and helped Monaco win the Ligue 1 title in 2016–17. In 2017, Mbappe transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of €180 million, making him the most expensive teenager ever.
Mbappe made his senior international debut for France in March 2017. He represented his country at UEFA Euro 2020, where he scored four goals and was named Player of the Tournament as France won the title.
Mbappe was born in Bondy, a suburb of Paris, to Wilfried Mbappe and Fayza Lamari. His father is Cameroonian, while his mother is Algerian. He has two brothers, Jirès Kembo-Ekoko and Tidiane Mbappé, who are also footballers.
His full name is Ronaldo Nazario da Lima, commonly known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time and, by some, the greatest ever. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year three times (1996, 1997, and 2002) and won the Ballon d’Or twice (1997 and 2002). Ronaldo scored 62 goals in 98 appearances for Brazil, representing them in two World Cups (1998 and 2002), both of which he won. At age 17, Ronaldo was the youngest player ever to play in a FIFA World Cup match.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Ronaldo began his career as a youth player for Cruzeiro before signing with PSV Eindhoven in 1994. He helped lead PSV to victory in the 1996–97 UEFA Champions League with six goals in 12 appearances before signing with Barcelona for a world record transfer fee of £13 million. After winning La Liga twice and the Copa del Rey once with Barcelona in his first four seasons there, Ronaldo signed with Real Madrid for a world record fee of £80 million (€94 million/$132 million). There he won 15 trophies, including two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups. In Spain, he became known as “El Fenomeno” due to his pace, skill, and power on the ball. Following
He is considered one of the best football players of all time. He was born in Brazil in 1958 and started playing for Santos FC at the age of 15. In 1970, he helped lead Brazil to its first World Cup victory. He is the only player to have won three World Cup titles. Pelé retired from football in 1977, but his legend continues to live on.