Ansu Fati became Barcelona’s youngest goalscorer in La Liga when his shot hit the back of Osasuna’s net at age 16 years and 304 days. How does he compare with the youngest goalscoring record holders of Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and UEFA Champions League? Also, what happened to those prodigies after their recordamakings? One way to find out.
JAMES VAUGHAN, 16 YEARS 271 DAYS, PREMIER LEAGUE
With Everton cruising to a win against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in April 2005, David Moyes decided to hand 16-year-old James Vaughan his debut.
Defying expectations, the striker went on to prod home the fourth when he was just 16 years and 271 days old, breaking James Milner’s record of the youngest ever Premier League goalscorer in the process.
Vaughan’s career hasn’t quite gone on to dizzying heights however, having dropped down the divisions with injury blighting his career. The 31-year-old now plays for Bradford in League Two.
FABRICE OLINGA, 16 YEARS 98 DAYS, LA LIGA
At a time when Malaga fans were reeling from the departures of Santi Cazorla and Ruud van Nistelrooy, Fabrice Olinga provided some much-needed excitement when he scored against Celta in August 2012.
Aged just 16 years and 98 days, the Cameroon striker broke Iker Muniain’s record when he got on the end of Diego Bounanotte’s cross to score a dramatic late winner.
Unlike Munian, Olinga failed to establish himself as a regular and left Malaga a year and a half later. The 23-year-old currently plies his trade at Mouscron of the Belgian First Division.
PETER OFORI-QUAYE, 17 YEARS 194 DAYS, UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
The youngest ever scorer of a Champions League goal, Ghanaian striker Peter Ofori-Quaye came off the bench aged 17 years and 194 days to produce a neat turn and finish for Olympiakos. The fact that it was a consolation in a 5–1 defeat to Rosenborg does arguably steal some of its lustre.
Ofori-Quaye was a hot prospect at the time. After arriving in Greece from Ghana, the striker was scoring goals for Kalamata at the scarcely credible age of 15. Champions Olympiakos signed him in 1997 and he spent six years there, scored three Champions League goals and played for Ghana at the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations.
However, Ofori-Quaye never really lived up to his early promise and Olympiakos let the striker go in 2003. Stints at Liberty Professionals, OFI Crete, AEL Limassol, and Accra Hearts of Oak followed. Now 39, Ofori-Quaye last played for a club in 2012.
Update: In the final game of 2019/20 UEFA Champions League Group Stage, Ansu Fati came on against Inter at the San Siro with five minutes to play. He promptly belted in Barcelona’s winner within the first minute, making him the competition’s youngest ever goalscorer at 17 years and 40 days old.
NURI SAHIN, 16 YEARS 355 DAYS, BUNDESLIGA
Nuri Sahin became the youngest ever Bundesliga player when he made his Dortmund debut at just 16 years and 355 days in August 2005. Three months later, he scored against Nuremberg to become the youngest ever scorer.
The homegrown playmaker was then in and out of the side, at one point being loaned out to Feyenoord, before returning to flourish under Jurgen Klopp as Dortmund won Bundesliga 2010/2011 with Sahin voted Player of the Season.
Sahin’s form saw him sign for Real Madrid, though he was unable to orchestrate performance of the same quality. Underwhelming spells at Liverpool and Dortmund (again) followed, the retired Turkey international eventually allowed to join Bremen for free where he is finally showing signs of his old self.
AMEDEO AMADEI, 15 YEARS 287 DAYS, SERIE A
Although Genoa wonderkid Pietro Pellegri recently became the youngest player to score a brace in Serie A, it is Amedeo Amadei who holds the overall record, having scored for Roma when he was just 15 years and 287 days all the way back in 1937.
Amadei went on to score over 200 goals in his career and won the Scudetto in 1942, making 13 appearances for the Italian national side too. The Eighth King of Rome, as affectionately known by Roma fans, passed on in 2013 at the age of 92.
NEAL MAUPAY, 16 YEARS 121 DAYS, LIGUE 1
Since the French league officially changed its name to Ligue 1 ahead of the 2002/2003 season, Neal Maupay has been its youngest ever scorer.
It was an important goal, too, as he netted an injury-time winner for Nice against Evian as they recovered from two goals down to win 3–2.
Maupay swapped Ligue 1 for EFL Championship’s Brentford in 2017, becoming the EFL Championship Player of the Year 2018 with 25 league goals. The display earned the now 23-year-old a move to Premier League’s Brighton for £20m this season and he has since made the striker spot his own.