The World Cup has been adorned with some incredible moments over the years, and the 2022 renewal has already seen a few more thrilling chapters etched into its history. Despite being in the nascent stages, the World Cup has borne witness to some standout performances, and there are a few players who are making the breakthrough on the world’s biggest stage. Naturally all of the biggest online sportsbooks offer odds on goalscorers in most games.
But who are the youngest scorers? Well, we have recounted six of the youngest of all time in order, and this includes one from the 2022 renewal.
Pele (Brazil – 17 years, 239 days)
The redoubtable Pele managed to pack a lot into his career, and he set the world alight from an early age. Aside from being the youngest player to score at a World Cup Finals, he is the only player in tournament history to find the back of the net under the age of 18.
And in 1958, Pele made his mark. His stunning goal against Wales in the quarter-finals arrived when he was just 17 years and 239 days old. As if scoring six goals on his World Cup Finals debut wasn’t impressive enough, he was instrumental in guiding the Selecao to World Cup glory. Pele is also the fifth youngest to ever play at the World Cup, but the record belongs to former Manchester United midfielder Norman Whiteside, who was 194 days younger when he made his World Cup debut.
Manuel Rosas (Mexico – 18 years, 93 days)
Back in 1930, Manuel Rosas held the undistinguished honor of becoming the first player to score an own goal at a FIFA World Cup for Mexico against Chile.
But the defender made amends three days later when he netted twice in his side’s 6-3 defeat to Argentina. If ever there’s a quiz question about young World Cup scorers, then guess Rosas as it could well be right!
Gavi (Spain – 18 years, 110 days)
Appearing third on this list, and a recent addition is the mercurial talent that is Gavi. He was Spain’s youngest-ever player to start a World Cup game against Costa Rica, and he marked the occasion with a terrific volley as Spain thrashed Costa Rica 7-0.
It was a total annihilation, and Gavi was responsible for Spain setting a new World Cup record for establishing the highest possession (81.8%), and most successful passes (1,043) completed during 90 minutes. Gavi is certainly one of those players that will just get better with time, and you should keep your eyes peeled on him.
Michael Owen (England – 18 years, 190 days)
The 1998 World Cup saw a fresh-faced Michael Owen exploded onto the scene. While England fans will no doubt remember his sublime solo goal against Argentina in the Round of 16, the former Liverpool, Newcastle and Real Madrid striker made history in a group game against Romania,
Aged 18 years and 190 days, Owen became the third youngest player to score a goal at the World Cup, and while his quest for international glory ended at the hands of Argentina, his exploits won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Owen is also England’s youngest scorer at a World Cup, and it could be a while before he is overtaken.
Nicolae Kovacs (Romania – 18 years, 197 days)
Romanian forward Nicolae Kovacs netted his only goal at a FIFA World Cup against Peru in 1930, he would go on to play one more group game before Romania were knocked out. Intriguingly, Kovacs’ team-mate Constantin Stanciu also netted against Peru, and it remains the only occasion when two teenagers have scored in the same World Cup game. Kovacs did turn out at the 1934 and 1938 editions, but he fired blanks.
Dmitry Sychev (Russia – 18 years, 231 days)
Rounding off this finely curated list, is Dmitry Sychev. The Russian grabbed a consolation goal in his side’s 3-2 defeat to Belgium two minutes from the end of the game when he netted past Geert De Vlieger. Sychev had come on as a first-half substitute.
It was the last goal that Russia scored at the 2002 World Cup Finals which was jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea as they were bundled out in the group stages.