Who’s The Youngest Player To Score In FIFA World Cup History?


The FIFA World Cup is the most eminent association football tournament worldwide. Football players understand the honour of playing in it, but there’s more to it — the feeling of scoring a goal or two.

What do you think? Who’s the youngest player to score in FIFA World Cup?

Let’s find out the name of the youngest FIFA scorer, the goals scored, and more!

Top 6 Youngest Players To Score In The FIFA World Cup

One of the biggest football world stages where the FIFA World Cup was held were Brazil (with most World Cup victories), Mexico, Spain, Russia, and others.

It’s only fair to find out the names of the star appearance scorers. Better yet, to learn the name of the youngest FIFA World Cup scorer.

6. Lionel Messi (18 years, 357 days)

Country: Argentina

Position: Forward

Lionel Messi is one of the most decorated footballers with globe-wide fame.

He has had four appearances proudly wearing his country’s colours in the FIFA World Cup.

However, the match between Argentina vs Serbia and Montenegro (2006) in Germany on June 16th was Messi’s FIFA World Cup debut.

The match ended 6:0 for Argentina, and Messi contributed by scoring the 6th goal (88’). Lionel was 18 years old and 357 days when he became the 6th youngest player to score in FIFA World Cup history.

Related: Who are the best forwards in the World Cup?

5. Dmitri Sychev (18 years, 190 days)

photo source: UEFA

Country: Russia (Southwestern Siberia)

Position: Centre Forward/ Midfielder

Dmitri is a famous former Russian football player who finished his career in Pyunik Yerevan (the Armenian Premier League). Before hanging up his football boots, he made sure he was well-remembered.

One of those memorable moments was his goal against Belgium in 2002 (South Korea/ Japan). Sychev shook the Belgian net in the 88-minute on June 14th.

Though Russia lost the game, with just 18 years and 190 days, Sychev scored his first FIFA World Cup goal.

Also read: 10 unusual football superstitions

4. Nicolae Kovács (18 years, 197 days)

photo source: druckeria

Country: Romania

Position: Forward

Nicolae is a former Romanian player and a famous pre-Second World War name in the football world.

However, his name was engraved in the football world because of his goal in Romania (3) vs Peru (1) match in Uruguay (July 14th) 1930.

He scored a goal in the 89-minute of the match and cemented the Romanian’s victory. This goal brought him the title ‘4th youngest player FIFA World Cup scorer’ when he was only 18 years and 197 days.

3. Michael Owen (18 years, 190 days)

photo source: nationalfootballmuseum

Country: England

Position: Forward

Michael Owen is a former English superstar who played for some of the most famous EPL clubs (Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle United) and Real Madrid, considered one of the most successful clubs in Europe.

Furthermore, Owen managed to put his name 3rd on our list of youngest FIFA scorers. This was possible with the goal he struck in Romania vs England match on June 22nd, 1998 (France).

Impressively, this was the only goal in the match for the English side, and Michael was only 18 years and 190 days old when he scored it.

Related: Top 10 list of best strikers in the world

2. Manuel Rosas (18 years, 93 days)

photo source: mediatiempo

Country: Mexico

Position: Defender

Rosas is a former football player that dominated the Mexican scene in the 1930s. Also, Manuel was the first to score a goal from a penalty spot in the FIFA World Cup tournament.

Rosas scored two goals (42’ and 69’) in Argentina vs Mexico game that ended 6:3 with Argentina’s victory. The match took place in Uruguay on July 19th (1930).

Manuel was 18 years and 93 days when he made this football career advancement.

1. Pelé (17 years, 239 days)

photo source: betagamers

Country: Brazil

Position: Forward

A name as popular as the game itself – Pelé is our no. 1 youngest player to score in FIFA World Cup history. This former Brazilian is also the only football player under 18 to ever score a goal in this tournament.

Though Pelé won 3 World Cup titles with Brazil (1958, 1962, 1966), the 1958 one between Brazil and Wales is the most glorious. The match was played on June 19th in Sweden and ended with Brazil winning the game (1:0).

Pelé, at only 17 years and 239 days old, brought Brazil a victory in the 66th minute of the match.

Related: Who Has the Most Assists in Football History?

Other Youngest Players That Contributed In The World Cup Tournament

The world of football has other brilliant players that achieved great success during the World Cup.

Let’s find out who they are.

Elena Danilova (16 years, 107 days) – Youngest Player To Score In Women’s World Cup

photo source: aipsmedia

Country: Russia

Position: Striker

The Russian pro footballer Danilova played for several Russian football clubs (Energya Voronezh, Ryazan, Rossiyanka) and the American F.C. Indiana.

Her name gained even more popularity during the Women’s World Cup (2003) in the States. In the match between Russia and Germany, Elena scored a goal in the 70th minute.

Though the game ended at 7:1, with Germany claiming victory, Danilova, at 16 years and 107 days, was the player of the match. Her goal crowned her the youngest player to score in the Women’s World Cup.

Related: 10 Hottest Female Footballers (2022 List)

Manuel Rosas (18 years, 94 days) – Youngest Own Goal Scorer In World Cup Match

Country: Mexico

Position: Defender

Rosas’s name is being mentioned again as a FIFA World Cup contributor. But this time, in a bit of a different light.

Manuel took participation in the match between Mexico and Chile on July 16th (1930) in Uruguay. However, something must’ve happened because instead of shooting at Chile’s net, Manuel scored his own goal (51’).

The match ended at 3:0, with Chile winning the game. Until today, Rosas, at 18 years and 94 days, holds the title ‘the youngest own goal scorer in World Cup match.’

Norman Whiteside (17 years, 41 days) – Youngest Player To Play A World Cup Match

photo source: irishfa

Country: Northern Ireland

Position: Midfielder/ Striker

Whiteside is a former pro that was part of champions teams like Everton and Manchester United. That said, Norman signed with the Red Devils at 17 years in 1982, and stayed with them for 7 years.

What’s even more surprising is Norman’s appearance at the FIFA World Cup in Spain (1982). This FIFA World Cup was his first of a kind, and his first match in the Northern Irish colours was against Yugoslavia (June 17th). The match ended 0:0.

Still, at 17 years and 41 days, Norman was undoubtedly the youngest player to play a tournament of this rank.

Tony Meola (21 years, 109 days) – Youngest Ever Captain At A World Cup Tournament

photo source: machermanntrophy

Country: The USA

Position: Goalkeeper

Meola is a former American footballer that played mainly for US football clubs (New York Red Bulls, Kansas City Wizards, etc.). However, in the 90s, he also defended the goals of one of the best London clubs like Watford and ‘The Seagulls.’

What’s most striking about this pro is his role in the match between the US and Czechoslovakia on June 10th in Italy (1990). Tony led his boys – he was the youngest captain ever at a World Cup tournament.

We’re sure that was a big responsibility for a young lad of 21 years and 109 days.

Daniel Passarella (25 years, 30 days) – Youngest Ever Captain In A World Cup Final

photo source: transfermarkt

Country: Argentina

Position: Centre Back/ Sweeper

Passarella is a famous Argentine pro renowned as one of South America’s all-time best defenders. However, Daniel Passarella is also known for his leader’s skills. He was the captain of the Argentine national team in 1978.

Argentina hosted the 1978 FIFA World Cup, and the finals were played between the host and the Netherlands on June 25th. The match ended with a victory for the Argentines (3:1).

This victory was made possible by Passarella – for being the youngest captain at only 25 years and 30 days old in a World Cup final.

Pelé (17 years, 249 days) – Youngest Player To Play In A World Cup Final

photo source: gq

Pelé, our biggest football star, found his way again on our list — this time as the youngest player to win a World Cup final.

One of his many successes is the victory over Sweden (1958). The match was played in Sweden on June 29th, and the countries that made it to the finals were the host itself and Brazil.

Brazil won the World Cup (5:2), and Pelé scored Brazil’s 5th goal in the 90th minute – when he was 17 years and 249 days old.

Related: Best Last-Minute Football Goals In The History Of Football

Ifeanyi Chiejine (16 years, 34 days) – Youngest Women’s Player To Play A World Cup Match

Country: Nigeria

Position: Forward/ Striker

Chiejine is a Nigeria’s superstar striker who played for several international clubs like FC Indiana, Zvezda Perm, etc. She’s also known as one of the biggest successes among international women footballers ever.

What makes Chiejine more fantastic is that she’s the youngest women’s player to play in a World Cup match.

Ifeanyi’s first World Cup experience was in the USA (1999). Her first match was between North Korea (1) and (2) Nigeria (her home country) on June 20th — she was just 16 years and 34 days.

Edu (16 years, 339 days) – Youngest Player To Ever Be Named To A World Cup Squad

Country: Brazil

Position: Forward

Jonas Eduardo, known as Edu, is a Brazilian player that gave his best to the Brazilian and Mexican football scene.

Edu’s football qualities were so good that he was called to play for the Brazilian national team in 1966. Better yet, he became the youngest World Cup player ever to be named to a World Cup squad.

At just 16 years and 339 days, he participated in the World Cup in England (1966) — however, he didn’t play in any matches.

You might also like: What Was the Highest Scoring Football Game in History?

Bottom Line

In the FIFA World Cup history, there have been some very talented and successful players.

But, only one is the youngest player to score in FIFA World Cup history — the man that gave all of him to the game — Pelé.

However, you also learnt about other young footballers who contributed unmeasurably to the game (Whiteside, Meola, Ifeanyi, Rosas, Messi, etc.).

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