Football fans love watching a teenager making his way into the senior team and wreaking havoc by skimming through the entire line of defence when it matters the most. Over the years, the faithful have been a bystander to some of the most astonishing individual displays from these young guns, and on June 6, 2020, a fantastic curling effort by a certain Florian Wirtz in the 89th minute against Bayern Munich in a Bundesliga encounter made him the league’s youngest-ever goalscorer.
On that note, here are the youngest goalscorers of Europe’s top-five leagues.
Premier League - James Vaughan (16 years and 270 days)
After enjoying a stellar run of form in Everton’s youth academy, striker James Vaughan was given his senior team debut in April 2005 when Everton locked horns with Crystal Palace. He was introduced in the 73rd minute, when the likes of Mikel Arteta and a Tim Cahill had already put Everton in control, and it didn’t take long for him to assert his authority as he became Premier League’s youngest-ever scorer at the age of just 16 years and 270 days, taking the mantle from James Milner, who held the record for three years.
16 – James Vaughan became – and remains – the Premier League’s youngest goalscorer, aged 16 years and 270 days when he scored for Everton against Crystal Palace. Sweet. #OptaPLSeasons pic.twitter.com/qN58icnXwv— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 8, 2020
La Liga - Fabrice Olinga (16 years and 98 days)
During the 2012/13 La Liga season, Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini called in a certain Fabrice Olinga for his side’s league opener against Celta de Vigo. The Cameroonian forward, who had enrolled himself in the Samuel Eto’o Foundation early in his career, was named on the bench, and with the scoreline still reading 0-0, he was introduced as a substitute in the 60th minute.
As it turned out, he went on to score the only goal of the game and at 16 years and 98 days, became La Liga’s youngest scorer, surpassing the previous holder Iker Muniain.
Bundesliga - Florian Wirtz (17 years and 34 days)
With regular starter Kai Havertz unavailable for the big game against Bayern Munich at home, Bayer Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz decided to go with Florian Wirtz in the line-up. The home side took the lead as early as the ninth minute but couldn’t maintain the consistency as Bayern put four goals past to take a 4-1 lead.
Florian Wirtz was 3 years, 3 months and 16 days old when Manuel Neuer made his Bundesliga debut.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 6, 2020
At 17 years, 1 month and 3 days old, Florian Wirtz just scored his first Bundesliga goal... against Manuel Neuer. pic.twitter.com/863mEjsA50
With the game already put to bed, Leverkusen were looking for consolation and they got it through Florian Wirtz, who sumptuously put a curling effort past Manuel Neuer in the 89th minute to become Bundesliga’s youngest scorer of all time at 17 years and 34 days.
‼️ 17 years, 34 days ‼️— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) June 6, 2020
👏 Florian Wirtz is now the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history. pic.twitter.com/3MerTVcJfh
Ligue 1 – Neal Maupay (16 years and 123 days)
Back in 1963, forward Richard Krawczyk, while playing for Lens, became the French league’s youngest-ever goalscorer at 16 years and 107 days, but since the league’s name was officially changed to Ligue 1 ahead of the 2002/03 season, Neal Maupay holds the record at 16 years and 123 days.
Maupay made his senior team debut with Nice in 2012 as an injury-time substitute, and he went on to score four goals in 19 appearances in all competitions before a torn cruciate ligament cut his subsequent season short.
Serie A - Pietro Pellegri (16 years and 72 days)
Like Ligue 1, Serie A had its youngest scorer dating a ways back, 1937 to be precise, when striker Amedeo Amadei scored for Roma at the age of 15 years and 287 days against Lucchese in a 5-1 loss. However, since the league moved to its 20-team format in 2004, the record belongs to a certain Pietro Pellegri who, at 16 years and 72 days, scored twice in Genoa’s 3-2 loss to Lazio in 2017 to become the youngest scorer of the league.