Gavi became the youngest goalscorer in Spain’s World Cup history with his strike against Costa Rica, but where does he stand in the all-time standings?
Tournament after tournament, the World Cup calls on the next young stars of football to excel as a top Shawn Michaels and wow a global audience with their abilities.
And those who can break the hardest – score goals – are often the ones most remembered.
When young players declare themselves on the world stage in such a way, they often live and die for such a famous goal. But no matter what happens, it’s a moment they’ll never forget and one that we’ll always be able to look back on as fans, stuck with nostalgia.
It raises questions; Who is really the youngest goalscorer in World Cup history? Scroll down to find the answer.
#1 Julian Green (USA) – 2014
- Age: 19 years, 25 days
- Scored against: Belgium
Green’s goal in Brazil made him the youngest American to score in World Cup history and against a team considered by many to be a contender for the tournament. Before that, however, he represented Germany at the youth level.
Germany would win a lot in Brazil, but Green might not be there at all if he pledges allegiance to Die Mannschaft. Green last played for the USMNT in 2018.
#2 Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 2006
- Age: 18 years, 357 days
- Scored against Serbia and Montenegro
Scoring a 6-0 win over Serbia and Montenegro, Messi confirmed his first World Cup with a goal from the bench. Considering his senior international debut got him sent off the bench, this is a much more promising endeavor. He has done well since then.
#3 Dmitry Sychev (Russia) – 2002
- Age: 18 years, 231 days
- Scored against: Belgium
It was impossible to prevent Russia from being knocked out of the group stage in Japan and South Korea, but Sychev’s goal against Belgium could not be taken from him.
He was once dubbed the ‘Michael Owen of Russia’ – because of his pace, not his incredible and prolific start to the game.
#4 Nicolae Kovacs (Romania) – 1930
- Age: 18 years, 197 days
- Scored against Peru
Kovacs played for Romania at subsequent tournaments in 1934 and 1938, but this would be the only goal he scored at a World Cup.
If you only win once in three tournaments, at least make it a memorable one, right?
#5 Michael Owen (England) – 1998
- Age: 18 years, 190 days
- Scored against Romania
Michael Owen, the early years. Bursting and becoming Liverpool’s youngest goalscorer a year earlier, the teenage striker had shown himself at the World Cup in France following a Premier League season winning the Golden Boot.
#6 Gavi (Spain) – 2022
- Age: 18 years, 110 days
- Scored against: Costa Rica
The 2022 Golden Boy winner kicked off his maiden World Cup campaign flawlessly, playing a key role in Spain’s 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica and helping him score a goal stunningly, volleying in off the post.
#7 Manuel Rosas (Mexico) – 1930
- Age: 18 years, 93 days
- Scored against Argentina
It’s amazing to think that a goal scored almost a century ago is still considered a record strike. Rosas, a defender, actually scored twice in the 6-3 defeat and also holds the record for being the first to score an own goal in World Cup history.
- Age: 17 years, 239 days
- Scored against Wales
The tournament that made Pele. A teenager has appeared and reached the world, leading Brazil to glory with a style of play that is many years ahead of its time. The player who eventually eclipses this record will be truly some talent.