Who are the youngest players in Champions League history? We look at the record-breaking youngsters in the history of the competition since it began in 1992.

Cameroon-born German youngster Youssoufa Moukoko became the youngest player to make an appearance in the UEFA Champions League in December 2020 during Borussia Dortmund’s final group stage match – away to Zenit St Petersburg. With the Bundesliga club already having qualified for the knockout stages, Moukoko was given his UCL debut as a substitute in the second half when aged just 16 years and 18 days old, breaking the previous record – which had been held by Celestine Babayaro for just over 26 years – by 68 days.

The month previous, Moukoko had broken the German Bundesliga record as their youngest ever player after coming on a day after his 16th birthday versus Hertha BSC, replacing Erling Haaland.

Youssoufa Moukoko

Lamine Yamal made his UEFA Champions League debut aged just 16 years and 68 days old when Barcelona hosted Royal Antwerp in the 2023-24 UCL group stage.

The following matchday, Yamal broke the UCL record as the youngest player to start a match in the competition when Barcelona faced FC Porto in Portugal (16 years, 83 days old).

While so far yet to score in the Champions League, earlier in the season, Yamal became the youngest player to score in Spain’s La Liga when he netted for Barcelona against Granada in October 2023 aged just 16 years and 87 days old. He is just one of two players to score in the competition for Barcelona aged under 17 years old alongside Ansu Fati. And it’s Fati that currently holds the record as the youngest player to score in the UEFA Champions League, at 17 years and 40 days old.

Yamal also broke the Spanish national team record as their youngest player and scorer when scoring on his debut against Georgia on 8 September 2023 at the age of 16 years and 57 days old – breaking the previous records held by Gavi.

Lamine Yamal

Celestine Babayaro made his Champions League debut for Anderlecht at the age of 16 years and 86 days old. He was the youngest player in the history of the competition for a period of 26 years until Moukoko overtook him in December 2020.

French winger Rayan Cherki became the second-youngest player to make a UCL appearance when he made his competition debut on 27 November 2019 at the age of 16 years and 102 days old. He’s since been overtaken by two other players to move down to fourth in the rankings.

Big things were expected of Crotian midfielder Alen Halilovic. He made his debut in the competition at the tender age of 16 years and 128 days old versus PSG in October 2012 and moved to Spanish giants Barcelona just two years later. However, things didn’t work out for the teenager in Spain and he never reached the heights expected of him, eventually ending up at Dutch top-flight club Fortuna Sittard where he plays his football today.

The Next Youngest Players in UCL History

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