We look at the youngest goalscorers in European Championship history ahead of Euro 2024 this summer.


European Championship Youngest Scorers: Top 10

  1. Johan Vonlanthen (Switzerland vs France on 21 June 2004) – 18 years, 141 days old.
  2. Wayne Rooney (England vs Switzerland on 17 June 2004) – 18 years, 237 days old.
  3. Renato Sanches (Portugal vs Poland on 30 June 2016) – 18 years 317 days old.
  4. Dragan Stojkovic (Yugoslavia vs France on 19 June 1984) – 19 days, 108 days old.
  5. Arda Güler (Turkey vs Georgia on 18 June 2024) – 19 days, 114 days old.
  6. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal vs Greece on 12 June 2004) – 19 years, 128 days old.
  7. Ferenc Bene (Hungary vs Spain on 17 June 1964) – 19 years, 183 days old.
  8. Cristian Chivu (Romania vs England on 20 June 2000) – 19 years, 238 days old.
  9. Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands vs England on 18 June 1996) – 19 years, 353 days old.
  10. Pietro Anastasi (Italy vs Yugoslavia on 10 June 1968) – 20 years, 64 days old.

Johan Vonlanthen – 18 years, 141 days old
Switzerland vs France, 21 June 2004

Swiss forward Johan Vonlanthen broke the record for the youngest player to score at a European Championship when he found the net against France on 21 June 2004 at Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, Portugal.

Aged just 18 years and 141 days old at the time of his strike, he broke the previous record that had only stood for four days – England’s Wayne Rooney scoring against Switzerland in their Group B encounter.

Vonlanthen is still the youngest player to make an appearance at a major tournament for Switzerland, but this goal didn’t lead to an illustrious goalscoring career for his national team; he went on to score just six more times in senior international football.

Wayne Rooney – 18 years, 237 days old
England vs Switzerland, 17 June 2004

Wayne Rooney is the second-youngest player to score a goal at a European Championship tournament – in the opposition’s net, at least. Spanish prodigy Pedri was 22 days younger when he was unfortunate enough to score an own goal in Spain’s Euro 2020 win over Croatia, but it would be wrong (and mean) to include that in this countdown.

Rooney held the outright record as the youngest Euros scorer for four days until it was beaten by Vonlanthen, but he is still the youngest player to score more than once in a European Championship match thanks to his brace in June 2004 versus Switzerland.

His two goals helped the Three Lions to a 3-0 win, before he went on to score two more in England’s final group game against Croatia.

Overall, Rooney (18 years, 237 days) is the second-youngest player to score at a major tournament for England after Michael Owen, who scored his first World Cup goal against Romania aged 18 years and 190 days old – 47 days younger than Rooney was in this match.

Wayne Rooney Youngest Goalscorer European Championships

Renato Sanches – 18 years, 317 days old
Portugal vs Poland, 30 June 2016

When Renato Sanches equalised for Portugal in their Euro 2016 quarter-final tie against Poland, little did he know that his goal would help the Portuguese to their first major tournament win (no, we don’t count their 1995 SkyDome Cup victory as ‘major’).

Robert Lewandowski had put Poland ahead after just two minutes, but Sanches’ 33rd-minute strike levelled the scores. It remained 1-1 throughout normal and extra-time, with a penalty shootout needed to decide which nation made it through to the semis.

At only 18 years old, Sanches went on to score in the shootout to help his side navigate their way through before beating Wales in the semi-finals.

Sanches was the only teenager on the pitch in the Euro 2016 final as Portugal shocked host nation France to win the trophy in Paris.

Dragan Stojkovic – 19 days, 108 days old
Yugoslavia vs France, 19 June 1984

Yugoslavian playmaker Dragan Stojkovic scored his only UEFA European Championship goal in a 3-2 defeat to France in June 1984. Yugoslavia had no answer to French star Michel Platini, who scored a hat-trick in this match on the way to finishing Euro 1984 as the top scorer with nine goals overall.

Stojkovic’s strike was a late consolation in the 84th minute from a penalty and was one of only two goals scored by Yugoslavia at the tournament in a miserable campaign that saw them fail to win a single point in the group stage.

Arda Güler – 19 years, 114 days old
Turkey vs Georgia on 18 June 2024

In his very first European Championship game, Arda Güler proved the difference as his wonderful curled strike got Turkey’s Euro 2024 off to the perfect start with a 3-1 win against Georgia.

In doing so, he become the youngest player to score on his debut at a European Championship finals (19 years and 114 days), surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo’s previous record of 19 years and 128 days set in 2004.

He is just the third teenager to score on their first appearance at the Euros. Ronaldo did so against Greece (below) and Ferenc Bene scored for Hungary against Spain in 1964.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 19 years, 128 days old
Portugal vs Greece, 12 June 2004

All-time leading European Championship scorer Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first of his goals at the tournament in Portugal’s shock opening loss to Greece in Porto at Euro 2004.

The host nation had high hopes for success in 2004, but very few would have expected that their opponents in this match, Greece, would be the eventual winners of the tournament.

Ronaldo was aged just 19 years and 128 days old when scoring in this game, with it being his first taste of major tournament football for the Portuguese national side. His strike came as an injury-time consolation in the 93rd minute, before he added a further goal later in the tournament versus the Netherlands.

Greece went on to defeat Portugal again in the final (1-0), with Ronaldo failing to help his nation to victory in Lisbon as the youngest player on the pitch (19y 150d).

Ronaldo is the sixth-youngest player to score a goal at the European Championship and the fifth-oldest goalscorer at the Euros (36y 138d old) – a record he could go on to break at Euro 2024.

Cristiano Ronaldo Youngest Goalscorer European Championships

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