Youngest Player Debuts in European Football

With 15 year old Martin Ødegaard already the youngest player to play in the Tippeliga, and currently on the verge of making his record breaking debut for the Norwegian National Side, we looked at a few of the bigger leagues in Europe, for other young prodigies who made similar early breakthroughs.

While most of us were too busy chasing after the opposite sex, trying to figure out ways to cheat on exams and working horrible part-time jobs which involved cleaning out grease traps in our teens, these players were suiting up for clubs in the top divisions of their respective nations.


The youngest player to play in a Football League match is Reuben Noble-Lazarus, a winger for Barnsley who made his debut at 15 years and 45 days old during a 3-0 loss in the Championship to Ipswich in the 2008/2009 season. Noble-Lazarus is still on Barnsley's books but has struggled to cement a place in the side in the years since and has only made 45 appearances.

In the Premiership, the youngest player to ever make a first team debut is Fulham's Matthew Briggs. The defender played his first match for the Craven Cottage side at 16 years and 65 days old against Middlesborough, in a 3-1 loss at the tail end of the 2006/2007 season. Since then, Briggs has played for a host of clubs on loan, before finally leaving Fulham for Millwall this summer after only 13 appearances for the Cottagers in total.


Francisco Baos Rodríguez, better known as Sansón, made his La Liga debut for Celta de Vigo aged only 15 years and 255 days against Sevilla in a 4-1 win in 1939. Although Sansón left Celta two seasons later, after only a handful of appearances, the defender later returned to the top division with Real Oviedo, with whom he carved out an impressive career with 115 top flight appearances for the club from Asturias.


Laurent Paganelli, the youngest player to debut in France's Ligue 1, debuted at 15 years, 10 months for Saint-Étienne in 1978. He went on to play five seasons for Les Verts and was part of the side that captured the 1980/1981 League Championship. After a fourteen year career, with stints at clubs like Toulon and Grenoble, Paganelli hung up his boots and became a journalist for Canal +.


The youngest player to step onto the pitch for a Serie A side is Roma's Amedeo Amadei who debuted at 15 years and 9 months in 1936. Amadei would go on to score 116 goals over two stints with the Roman side and also found the net 7 times in 13 appearances for the Azzurri.


Aged only 15 years and 290 days when making his debut in 1959, Wim Kras is still the youngest player to play in the Dutch top division. Kras played his entire career for Volendam, making over 400 appearances for the club.


Scotland's Scott Robinson made his record breaking debut for Hearts at only 16 years and 1 month old against Inverness Caledonian Thistle during a 1-0 win in 2007/2008. Robinson has since become a regular for the Edinburgh side, making over 80 appearances in midfield for them to date.


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