Barcelona youngster Lamine Yamal became the youngest player in the history of La Masia to make an appearance for the senior team after he came on as a substitute against Georgia in the Euro 2024 qualification.
Yamal made the appearance at the age of 16 years and 57 days, breaking the previous record held by his teammate Gavi, who set his own record in 2021 at the age of 17 years and 62 days.
Since breaking into the Xavi Hernandez team, the winger has been exceptional. He proved his worth against Villarreal on August 27, 2023 with an assist.
Players who were 16 years of age or younger who played for their respective national teams
- Harry Wilson
Wilson made his international debut for Wales at the age of 16 years and 207 days, breaking Gareth Bale’s record by 108 days against Belgium on October 15, 2013.
The game ended in a 1-1 draw between the two teams. He came in as a substitute for Hal Robson-Kanu in the 87th minute.
As of October 15, 2023, he was the youngest Liverpool player to represent his national team, beating Raheem Sterling’s record of 17 years and 342 days. His grandfather won £125,000 after placing a £50-cent bet with William Hill.
2. Sam Johnston
Johnston made his first international appearance for Ireland’s senior team at the age of 15 years and 153 days against England in 1882, which ended in a 13-0 win.
This record has not been beaten by any Irish player. Before his death in 1910, the center forward made just five appearances, scoring two goals.
3. Martin Odegaard
The current Arsenal captain made his Norway debut at the age of 15 years and 253 days, playing 90 minutes against the United Arab Emirates in a friendly on August 19, 2014.
The match ended in a goalless draw between the teams.
The record was previously held by Tormod Kjellsen, who was 15 years and 351 days old on his debut in 1910.
He was the youngest player to ever play in a European tournament at the age of 15 years and 300 days, breaking the record that was previously held by Iceland’s Sigurour Jonsson.
Odegaard became the youngest player to start a European Championship qualifier at the age of 16 years and 101 days in a 5-1 defeat to Croatia.
The deceased made his international debut for Brazil on July 7, 1957, at the age of 16 years and nine months.
The attacker scored on the day of his debut against Argentina in Macarana Stadium, Brazil.
He took his career to the next level by scoring a hat trick against France in the 1958 World Cup semi-finals and two against a tough opponent, Sweden, in the final. Pele remains Brazil’s youngest goal scorer.
The striker was the youngest player to play in a World Cup final at 17 years and 249 days.
5. Samuel Eto’o
The former Chelsea and Barcelona striker made his debut a day before his 16th birthday in a 5-0 defeat to Costa Rica in 1997.
Eto’o was the second-youngest player to feature at the World Cup at the age of 17 years and 98 days.
6. Diego Maradona
The Argentine football legend made his debut at the age of 16 years and 120 days against Hungary on February 27, 1977.
His first international goal came two years after he made his debut. Maradona became a legend in Argentina after he led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup.
7. Lucas Knecht
He is the youngest player to have ever represented his international team, the Northern Mariana Islands. He made his debut on April 1, 2007 at the age of 14 years in a 9-0 loss to Guam.
Since then, he has made 11 appearances for Northern Mariana Islands without scoring a single goal.