Ahead of Euro 2024, look back at the youngest players to ever feature at the European Championship.


European Championship Youngest Players: Top 10

  1. Lamine Yamal (Spain vs Croatia on 15 June 2024) – 16 years, 338 days
  2. Kacper Kozlowski (Poland vs Spain on 19 June 2021) – 17 years, 246 days
  3. Jude Bellingham (England vs Croatia on 13 June 2021) – 17 years, 349 days
  4. Jetro Willems (Netherlands vs Denmark on 9 June 2012) – 18 years, 71 days
  5. Enzo Scifo (Belgium vs Yugoslavia on 13 June 1984) – 18 years, 115 days
  6. Jamal Musiala (Germany vs Hungary on 23 June 2021) – 18 years, 117 days
  7. Valeri Bojinov (Bulgaria vs Italy on 22 June 2004) – 18 years, 128 days
  8. Johan Vonlanthen (Switzerland vs England on 17 June 2004) – 18 years, 137 days
  9. Pedri (Spain vs Sweden on 14 June 2021) – 18 years, 201 days
  10. Marcus Rashford (England vs Wales on 16 June 2016) – 18 years, 229 days

Lamine Yamal – 16 years, 338 days
Spain vs Croatia on 15 June 2024

Barcelona youngster Lamine Yamal smashed the record at Euro 2024 when he started Spain’s opening group game against Croatia in Germany.

After a solid domestic campaign in 2023-24 with the La Liga side, in which he recorded 14 goals involvements (7 goals, 7 assists), Yamal earned the faith of his international manager Luis de la Fuente.

It was an impressive showing from Yamal too at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, providing a sumptuous assist for Dani Carvajal as he bent a ball into the penalty from the right for the full-back to finish. Spain eased to a 3-0 victory to get their Euro 2024 campaign under way in style.

Kacper Kozlowski – 17 years, 246 days
Poland vs Spain on 19 June 2021

Poland midfielder Kacper Kozlowski became the youngest player in European Championship history in June 2021 when coming off the bench in a 1-1 draw with Spain.

Aged 17 years and 246 days old, Kozlowski was only the second 17-year-old to feature in any European Championship; the first, Jude Bellingham, held the record for youngest ever Euros player for just six days.

Kacper Kozlowski at Euro 2020

Kozlowski’s career hasn’t quite taken off in the same manner as Bellingham’s, though. He was signed by Brighton for a reported £8 million a few months after his record-breaking cameo but is yet to play a competitive fixture for the Premier League side having spent time on loan at Union Saint-Gilloise and Vitesse – where he spent the 2023-24 season – ever since leaving his native Poland.

His only senior Poland cap since the delayed Euro 2020 was against San Marino in September 2021. While he was on the bench for a Euro 2024 qualifier last September, Kozlowski won’t feature in the tournament after missing out on the provisional squad.

Jude Bellingham – 17 years, 349 days
England vs Croatia on 13 June 2021

Jude Bellingham was the record holder for youngest player in Euros history for the best part of a week after replacing Harry Kane in the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 opener against Croatia.

Prior to 2021, this particular record had only changed hands twice since the 1980s, yet two players broke it at Euro 2020, which had an undeniably youthful feel to it with four of tournament’s 10 youngest players ever featuring.

Jude Bellingham at Euro 2020

Bellingham went on to appear three times at Euro 2020, including against Ukraine in the quarter-finals, meaning he’s the youngest player in Euros history to play a knockout game.

His first outing also saw him become the youngest England player to play at a major tournament. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of Gareth Southgate’s most important stars and elevating himself to a new level altogether at Real Madrid.

Assuming he’s fit, Bellingham will take on a key role for England at Euro 2024 and will surely play an integral part if they are to claim their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

Jetro Willems – 18 years, 71 days
Netherlands vs Denmark on 9 June 2012

Before Bellingham and Kozlowski each broke the record for youngest player at a European Championship in 2021, Jetro Willems had held it for just over nine years.

Before him, though, the record stood for 28 years, highlighting just how significant an achievement it was.

Willems, a left-back who now plays for Heracles, had less than a year’s Eredivisie experience when Bert van Marwijk called him up for Euro 2012. And although it was undoubtedly a memorable tournament for the player, it was a bitterly disappointing one for the team.

They lost all three Group B games to Germany, Denmark and Portugal, going home without earning a single point.

Willems played in all three games and went on to earn 22 senior caps, though the last was in 2016.

Enzo Scifo – 18 years, 115 days
Belgium vs Yugoslavia on 13 June 1984

Talented attacking midfielder Enzo Scifo held the record for youngest player in Euros history for nearly three decades.

Aged 18 years and 115 days, Scifo helped Belgium to a 2-0 win over Yugoslavia in their first Euro 84 group game; they went on to be eliminated at the group stage, but this exciting creator had marked himself as one to watch.

He never played in another European Championship as Belgium didn’t qualify again until 2000, but Scifo has played more World Cup matches (17) than any other Belgian and is one of just three players to represent the country at four different World Cup tournaments (1986, 1990, 1994, 1998). In Mexico 86, he helped them to a fourth-place finish, which was their best showing until finishing third in 2018.

Jamal Musiala – 18 years, 117 days
Germany vs Hungary on 23 June 2021

Another immense talent to have his international breakthrough at the delayed Euro 2020, Jamal Musiala is the fifth-youngest player to ever feature in a European Championship game.

He may have fallen short of the record, though he is still the youngest player to ever feature for Germany at a major tournament, and they’ll likely consider themselves very lucky to have him. After all, having spent much of his childhood in London and representing England all the way up to Under-21 level, it was never a given that he’d go on to play for the country of his birth.

In a curious quirk of fate, he ended up playing against – and losing to – England in Euro 2020. He was unable to become the tournament’s youngest scorer, but his appearance in that game did at least make him the second-youngest player in European Championship history to feature in a knockout game (18y, 123d).

He’s since gone on to establish himself as a key player for Bayern Munich and at international level, and promises to be one of the host nation’s biggest threats this summer. He made an excellent start, scoring in Germany’s opener, a 5-1 thrashing of Scotland.


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