A World Cup rarely sees the debut of two goal-scorers who are still teenagers. But it happened in this year’s tournament, with England’s Bellingham and Saka scoring on their debuts, aged 19 and 20, respectively.
The youngest goalscorer in a FIFA World Cup is Pele, who scored on his debut aged 17 years and 249 days in 1958. However, Bellingham’s goal was also the first ever scored by an Englishman born after 2000. We look at some of the youngest goalscorers at the FIFA World Cup.
Pele (17 Years)
The Brazilian football legend Pele is the youngest goal scorer at the FIFA World Cup. He scored against Wales in his first-ever world cup at 17.
It was the quarter-finals of the tournament. The Brazilian team went on to win the World Cup that year. It was a cumulative effort by the team, and Pele had his fair share of contributions.
It is not surprising that Pele is among many legends who played in their first World Cup at such a tender age. Some are still playing, and others have retired from international football, but they all made their mark on this beautiful game.
Manuel Rosas (18 years and 93 days)
Manuel Rosas is the youngest player to score at the FIFA World Cup. He was 18 years and 93 days old when he scored for Mexico in 1930.
Rosas was born on July 31, 1912. He was nicknamed Chaquetas after his father, who worked as a baker
He scored from the penalty kick spot in Mexico’s match against Argentina on July 19, 1930. This made him the first player in the history of the FIFA World Cup to score from such a shot.
Michael Owen (18 years and 190 days)
Michael Owen is known as the youngest goalscorer at the FIFA World Cup. He scored this goal in the game against Romania at the age of 18 years and 190 days.
This goal was scored in the 1998 World Cup in France. Michael Owen announced his arrival on the global stage in an amazing fashion by striking the ball in the back of the net.
His amazing performance at this tournament helped him to earn a place in the Manchester United team later.
Michael was a big-match player and had been seen playing for some of the best teams like Real Madrid, Liverpool, Stoke City FC, and others.
Nicolae Kovács ((18 years, 197 days)
The Romanian-Hungarian forward scored at the tender age of 18 years and 197 days in 1930. He played for his home country, Romania, as well as Hungary. But his record-setting goal was in Romanian colors.
Throughout his professional career, Kovács played in 12 clubs across Europe, including Ferencvárosi TC, Kispest AC, and Videoton FC. He appeared in 355 professional football games and scored 149 times.
His goal came against Peru at the very beginning of the tournament. It was just after 25 minutes into their match when he scored; the final score was 1-0, with Kovács’ goal being enough to secure victory for Romania.