August 5, 2021

Jude Bellingham becomes youngest player at the Euros – Who are the other record-setting Euro youngsters?

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A look at Euro’s youngest record setters….

Jude Bellingham became the youngest ever to play at a European Championship when he came on for England on Sunday.

The 17-year-old came off the bench to replace Harry Kane in his side’s first game of the tournament against Croatia. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has also broken Michael Owen’s record to become the youngest player to represent England at a major tournament.

Bellingham, who currently plays for Borussia Dortmund, came through the academy of Birmingham City before moving to Germany on an initial £25 million – making him the most expensive 17-year-old in history. 

Bellingham broke the record of Dutch left-back Jetro Willems who had set the mark at the age of 18 years and 71 days in 2012. Belgium’s Enzo Scifo held the record prior to him. 

As Bellingham basks in another achievement, let’s take a look at some of the record-setting youngsters at the Euros.

Youngest Goalkeeper to make an appearance – Jose Angel Iribar

Spain’s Jose Angel Iribar became the youngest goalkeeper to make an appearance at the Euros all the way back in 1964 at the age of 21 years and 108 days.

Iribar set the mark in Spain’s 2-1 win over Hungary and he would go on to help his country win the tournament, becoming the youngest goalkeeper to win it as well. 

It must be noted that the likes of Iker Casillas at Euro 2000 and Igor Akinfeev at Euro 2004 were younger than Iribar when they were included in the squads for the tournament but did not make an appearance during the same. 

Youngest player to score a goal – Johan Vonlanthen

Switzerland’s Johan Vonlanthen became the youngest player to score a goal at the Euros in 2004 at the age of 18 years and 141 days.

Interestingly, he made his Euro debut on the same day Wayne Rooney became the youngest scorer in Euro history with two goals against his side. However, Vonlanthen went on to score against France four days later and took that record for himself. 

Vonlanthen made 40 appearances for Switzerland before retiring in 2018. 

Youngest player to appear in a final – Renato Sanches

When Portugal made it to the final of Euro 2016, Renato Sanches was a hot prospect. He had just joined Bayern Munich from Benfica at the age of 18 and had a reputation to live up to.

He played a part in the final against France where Eder scored the eventual winner for Portugal. Renato was 18 years and 328 days old when he appeared in the final, becoming the youngest player to do so. 

Renato Sanches has failed to live up to his promise though and is currently at Lille. 

Youngest player to score in a final – Pietro Anastasi

In the 1968 Euro final, Italy’s Pietro Anastasi became the youngest to player to score in a final when his right-footed volley pierced Yugoslavia’s net. He was 20 years and 63 days old back then. 

Interestingly, the final had initially finished 1-1 and they played another match since there were no shootouts back then. Anastasi scored the second goal and sealed a 2-0 win for Italy. 

Anastasi, at that point, was the world’s most expensive player when he joined Juventus from Varese.