Barcelona's 17-year-old prodigy Ansu Fati already made club history by scoring twice in his first three La Liga games this season, but has now become the youngest Champions League goalscorer of all time after netting Barça's late winner against Inter Milan at San Siro.
Fati was a mere 16 years and 322 days when Barça kicked off their 2019/20 Champions League campaign at Borussia Dortmund, and had practically the entire campaign to break the record previously held by, well, see for yourself.
It's cracking pub ammo no more.
25. Jadon Sancho: 18 years, 213 days
Borussia Dortmund (vs Atletico Madrid), 2018/19
Sancho was one of the breakout stars of the European campaign in 2018/19, going from perennial substitute to guaranteed starter at Borussia Dortmund. His 12 goals and 14 assists in the Bundesliga helped Lucien Favre’s side challenge for the title – their runners-up finish was only confirmed on the final day – while he also had a role to play in BVB’s progression to the knockout phase of the Champions League.
Sancho recorded an assist in the 3-0 defeat of Monaco in early October and then opened his European account two weeks later, finding the net in a 4-0 thrashing of Atletico Madrid. That was as good as it got for Dortmund in the competition, though, with Tottenham knocking them out in the last 16.
24. Pascal Feindouno: 18 years, 206 days
Bordeaux (vs Willem II), 1999/00
Feindouno was born in Guinea and represented Club Industriel de Kamsar and Hirondelles in his homeland, before moving to France in 1998. His goal sealed the Ligue 1 title for Bordeaux at the end of his first season at the club, and he became one of the Champions League's youngest ever scorers when he struck the winner in a 3-2 victory over Willem II in 1999/00.
The winger went on to win the Coupe de France with Lorient in 2001/02, before spending four seasons on the books of Saint-Etienne. His career rather petered out thereafter, Feindouno going on to play for 11 different teams prior to his retirement in 2016.
23. Felix Passlack: 18 years, 178 days
Borussia Dortmund (vs Legia Warsaw), 2016/17
Passlack's certainly wasn't the only name on the scoresheet when he found the net in Dortmund's astonishing 8-4 victory over Legia Warsaw in 2016/17 - the highest-scoring match in Champions League history. That was only his second appearance in Europe's foremost competition, but he hasn't been able to add to that tally in the two and a half years since.
Passlack moved from Dortmund to Hoffenheim ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, but a failure to settle saw him spend the following campaign on loan at Norwich. The Canaries enjoyed a tremendous season as they sealed promotion to the Premier League, but Passlack featured in just one of their 46 league matches despite being fit for most of the campaign.
22. Christian Pulisic: 18 years, 172 days
Borussia Dortmund (vs Benfica), 2016/17
Another teenager who scored for Dortmund in the Champions League, Pulisic was younger than even Passlack and Sancho when they scored in the competition. The United States international made his European debut in the 6-0 demolition of Legia Warsaw, then set up Andre Schurrle's equaliser against Real Madrid a few weeks later.
The creator turned convertor the following March, striking against Benfica in the last 16 just 172 days after his 18th birthday. Sancho's emergence forced him down the pecking order at Signal Iduna Park, though, and he'll therefore be representing Chelsea rather than Dortmund in the competition this season.
21. Obafemi Martins: 18 years, 142 days
Inter (vs Bayer Leverkusen), 2002/03
A prodigious talent in his teenage years, Martins was expected to become one of Europe’s top centre-forwards after bursting on to the scene at Inter. His best scoring season came in 2004/05, when he netted 22 goals in 45 appearances, but there were signs of his promise as early as 2002/03 – the campaign in which he scored in Europe for the first time.
Martins made as many appearances in the Champions League as Serie A (four) that year as the Nerazzurri reached the semi-finals, with the striker on the scoresheet against Bayer Leverkusen in the last eight. He was sold to Newcastle in 2006 and later played for Wolfsburg, Rubin Kazan, Birmingham, Levante, Seattle Sounders and Shanghai Shenhua.
20. Lionel Messi: 18 years, 132 days
Barcelona (vs Panathinaikos), 2005/06
The Argentine great is used to being nearer the top of these goalscoring rankings, but not this time: Messi was already 18 years and 132 days old by the time he plundered in the Champions League.
Since hitting the third in a 5-0 group stage win for Barcelona against Greek side Panathinaikos in 2005, Messi has won four Champions League titles, scored 111 more goals in the competition – and counting – and become arguably the best footballer of all time. Decent enough.
19. Raul: 18 years, 113 days
Real Madrid (vs Ferencvaros), 1995/96
Skinny teenage Raul caused quite a stir when he opened his Champions League account in 1995.
The Spaniard, who went on to strike 71 times in the competition during his career, scored twice within a minute against Hungary’s Ferencvaros before ensuring he would take the match ball home by adding a third in Real’s 6-1 win.
He instantly became a new Merengues hero, but couldn’t build on his form the following season as Madrid failed to qualify after finishing sixth in the league. However, he would go on to win three Champions League trophies, scoring in two different finals, and remains the youngest scorer of a hat-trick in the competition.
18. Per Ciljan Skjelbred: 18 years, 90 days
Rosenborg (vs Olympiakos), 2005/06
A dream start to Skjelbred’s Champions League career soon turned sour. The Norwegian marked his debut in the competition with a goal in Rosenborg’s 3-1 win over Olympiakos as the teenager finished past grey-haired keeper Antonios Nikopolidis to make it look like a family game in the park.
Sadly, though, the midfielder broke his leg in the following group game against the same opposition after a reckless challenge from Ieroklis Stoltidis.
Skjelbred has gone on to enjoy a commendable career, and currently represents Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin – but he's still waiting to find another goal in European football’s premier competition.
17. Patrick Kluivert: 18 years, 89 days
Ajax (vs AEK Athens), 1994/95
Kluivert’s first Champions League goal is often forgotten as it was soon comprehensively bettered by his second. Seven months on from scoring the winner in a 2-1 win, the young striker came off the bench for Ajax to score the only goal of the final against Milan’s famous backline of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta.
He obviously impressed, earning a move to San Siro two years later, but he struggled in Italy and went on to have six memorable seasons at Barcelona.
Kluivert remains the youngest goalscorer in a Champions League final and left a big legacy for his son Justin to live up to. He tried his best, scoring on his debut in the competition for Roma aged 19. Catch up, Jr.
16. Mario Balotelli: 18 years, 85 days
Inter (vs Anorthosis), 2008/09
We very much doubt that Jose Mournho has spent much time re-watching this particular part of Inter’s Treble-winning campaign, a 3-3 draw with Anorthosis. However, it did feature one moment of significance as Balotelli opened his account in European football.
The Portuguese boss and Super Mario never quite saw eye to eye and the Italian has struggled to live up to his early promise since providing occasional moments of brilliance under former mentor Roberto Mancini at Manchester City.
Balotelli is now back in Serie A with his hometown club Brescia, but he'll probably never fulfil the potential he showed as a teenager.
15. Nigel de Jong: 18 years 80 days
Ajax (vs Arsenal), 2002/03
Nope, it’s not a misprint. Of all the names you expected to see here, we’re betting ‘The Lawnmower’ wasn’t one of them, as admittedly we're struggling to remember any goals he’s scored. But the Dutchman did indeed notch his first senior strike for Ajax away to Arsenal as his side secured a 1-1 draw at Highbury.
The midfield enforcer would later make his mark at Hamburg, Manchester City, Milan and on the chest of Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup Final. He’s still going now aged 34, representing Al Shahania in Qatar.
14. Roque Santa Cruz: 18 years, 71 days
Bayern Munich (vs PSV), 1999/2000
When Bayern Munich brought Paraguayan talent Santa Cruz to Europe in 1999 aged 17, he already had a continental goal on his CV, having scored in the Copa Libertadores.
The eye-catching striker looked like he was going places, especially after finding the net in his first Champions League campaign, scoring the consolation in a 2-1 defeat to PSV.
Although there were some memorable moments – Blackburn fans will fondly remember his 23-goal season – the South American never quite live up to the hype. He has a Champions League winner's medal from his time in Bavaria but the striker, now back at boyhood club Olimpia, found the net just seven times in the competition.
13. Andriy Shevchenko: 18 years, 69 days
Dynamo Kiev (vs Bayern Munich), 1994/95
Shevchenko in his prime was the complete striker – a completely different player from the impersonator who turned up at Chelsea.
He opened his Champions League account in forgettable circumstances, scoring the consolation in Dynamo Kiev’s 4-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, but the Ukrainian would go on to score another 47 times in the competition as well as clinching the 2004 Ballon d’Or.
In seven years at Milan he scored an incredible 173 goals, winning Ol’ Big Ears in 2003. In his two final shootouts, he scored the winner as the Rossoneri edged out Juventus for that first title, but then had a spot-kick saved by Jerzy Dudek in a slightly more memorable showpiece against Liverpool two years later.
12. Kylian Mbappe: 18 years, 64 days
Monaco (vs Manchester City), 2016/17
It was raining goals when Monaco were beaten 5-3 by Manchester City two seasons ago, meaning Mbappe’s first Champions League strike got a bit lost in the chaos. It would prove vital, however, as he netted again in the second leg to help the Ligue 1 side to a 3-1 victory that dumped City out of the competition on away goals.
Monaco rampaged all the way to the semi-finals, with the teenage frontman putting three past Dortmund and another against Juventus in the process.
His hot streak is still ongoing. At 20, Mbappe – now at PSG – is already a World Cup winner with 14 Champions League goals to his name, and leapfrogged Patrick Kluivert to become the competition’s most prolific teenager.
11. Samuel Kuffour: 18 years, 61 days
Bayern Munich (vs Spartak Moscow), 1994/95
If put on the spot and asked to name the youngest Champions League-winning defender to score in the competition, we’d probably opt for someone known for their exploits in front of goal like Sergio Ramos. Isn’t the answer always Sergio Ramos? Not this time!
Kuffour wasn't much of a threat during his playing days, but he rose to score his first ever goal for Bayern Munich in a 2-2 draw with Spartak back in 1994.
It was his first – and would remain his last – goal in the competition. The Ghanaian’s furious pummelling of the pitch after losing to Manchester United in the final five years later became famous, but he would go on to lift the trophy in 2001.
10. Mariyan Ognyanov: 18 years, 59 days
Levski Sofia (vs Chelsea), 2006/07
Not long after turning 18, Ognyanov made history by scoring the first goal for a Bulgarian club in the Champions League era.
It was a big moment, as the celebrations of the Levski fan above demonstrate, but slightly undermined by the fact that it was no more than a late consolation after Didier Drogba had put three past Levski in a 3-1 victory for Chelsea.
That didn’t put off the midfielder though, who went with the full knee-slide to celebrate the moment. Just as well he made the most of it, as Ognyanov, who now plays for CSKA Sofia in his home country, hasn’t registered a goal in the competition since.
9. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 18 years, 44 days
Arsenal (vs Olympiakos), 2011/12
The Ox holds the honour of being the youngest Englishman to score in the Champions League, having pinched the accolade of ex-team-mate Theo Walcott just eight minutes into his debut in the competition.
The 17-year-old midfielder swapped Southampton for the Emirates in the summer of 2011 and, just a month-and-a-half later he was finding the net in a 2-1 win against Olympiakos. Now at Liverpool, he'll hope to feature more this season after missing much of the Reds' triumphant campaign through injury last year.
8. Karim Benzema: 17 years, 355 days
Lyon (vs Rosenborg), 2005/06
Benzema is the first of just eight U18 players to have scored in Europe’s top competition, netting his first senior goal for Lyon in a 2-1 win over Rosenborg.
The Frenchman’s eye-catching performances in the competition caught the attention of Manchester United, but it was Real Madrid who secured his signature in 2009, when Benzema was 21.
Despite occasional criticism about his goalscoring rate, he’s won the Champions League four times and brings out the best in those around him. In any case, 60 Champions League goals puts him third in the all-time table, which should be enough to silence most of the critics.
7. Aaron Ramsey: 17 years, 300 days
Arsenal (vs Fenerbahce), 2008/09
Ramsey’s rasper against Fenerbahce meant he became just the second player born in the 1990s to score in the Champions League during a 5-2 victory for the Gunners.
The Wales international boasts a great record against teams from Turkey: he went on to put two past the same opposition in a qualifier, before smashing a half-volley in from range against Galatasaray in 2014.
Ramsey was often decisive for the north London club, scoring the winner in two of the three winning FA Cup finals he was a part of, but he'll have a greater chance of European success at Juventus this season.
6. Breel Embolo: 17 years, 263 days
Basel (vs Ludogorets), 2014/15
Highly-rated striker Embolo was making waves very early in his competition, scoring just four minutes into his debut as a 16-year-old. The Swiss then notched his first Champions League goal the following campaign as he scored 17 times in all competitions to inevitably earn links with clubs all around the continent.
The 6ft frontman’s development has slowed down since he made a €20m switch to Schalke two years ago, as he was sidelined for almost a year after fracturing his ankle and damaging ligaments during a match against Augsburg. He did score against Porto in the Champions League last season, but Schalke spent the campaign flirting with relegation and Embolo departed for Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer.
5. Martin Klein: 17 years, 240 days
Sparta Prague (vs Panathinaikos), 2001/02
Klein isn’t exactly one of the superstars of this list. To illustrate the point, a quick search of his name online will come back with information about a turn-of-the-century Estonian Olympic wrestler Martin Klein before you’ll find our man.
The defender’s late goal for Sparta Prague in a 2-1 defeat to Panathinaikos was enough to put his name down in history and he played his part as the Czech club went on a good run to the second group stage in 2001/02.
That was about as good as it got for Klein, though, who later played in Kazakhstan and Malta, never again featuring in the Champions League.
4. Cesc Fabregas: 17 years, 218 days
Arsenal (vs Rosenborg), 2004/05
The Spaniard got a lot done very early on in his career. He became the fourth-youngest Champions League goalscorer in a 5-1 win over Rosenborg but by that point had already become Arsenal’s youngest first-team player, the Gunners’ youngest scorer, and thrown a pizza at Fergie. Not bad going.
Incredibly, Fabregas has still never won the Champions League. He’s bagged the World Cup, two European Championships, plus league titles in Spain and England, but European glory has eluded him on the club stage. Now at Monaco, he's probably run out of time to lift the famous trophy.
3. Bojan Krkic: 17 years, 217 days
Barcelona (vs Schalke), 2007/08
The first 1990s-born player to score in the competition, Bojan’s first goal was a big one - the winner away to Schalke in a quarter-final first leg. His debut season got pulses racing in Catalonia as the forward scored 12 goals, breaking Messi’s record as the youngest player to represent Barça en route.
Sadly, he never lived up to expectations of being the next big thing, winning two Champions League titles with Barcelona but failing to feature in either final. He has since gone on to Roma, Milan, Ajax, Stoke and now Montreal Impact, showing glimpses of his talent without delivering consistently.
2. Mateo Kovacic: 17 years, 215 days
Dinamo Zagreb (vs Lyon), 2011/12
Kovacic was made to swim with the sharks from the very start, making his Champions League bow against Real Madrid just four months after turning 17. After a narrow loss in that game, he went on to put Dinamo in front against Lyon.
Unfortunately for the Croatian, it wasn’t a night to remember; the French side got angry and smashed Kovacic’s team 7-1. However, the midfielder went on to become the club’s youngest captain of all time before moving on to Inter and then Real Madrid.
During three seasons in the Spanish capital, the playmaker struggled to break into the first XI regularly and spent last season on loan at Chelsea before the move was made permanent over the summer..
1. Peter Ofori-Quaye: 17 years, 194 days
Olympiakos (vs Rosenborg), 1997/98
Now here’s a useful bit of pub quiz trivia for you. Ghana’s Ofori-Quaye is the youngest ever Champions League scorer, having come on as a substitute to net the consolation goal of a 5-1 defeat for Olympiakos against Rosenborg.
It’s not exactly a story that legends are made from, but the Ghanaian was a player of great promise at the time and would score another two in the competition, as well as representing his country at the 2000 Cup of Nations.
Ofori-Quaye ultimately failed to fulfil his potential, though, and was released by the Greek giants in 2003 before spells with Liberty Professionals, OFI Crete, AEL Limassol, Accra Hearts of Oak and others.
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