Yamal follows in some interesting footsteps.

Where are they now? The 10 youngest players to feature in a Euros match

Barcelona wonderkid Lamine Yamal has become the first player in the history of the European Championships to appear in the competition before his 17th birthday.

The outrageously talented forward was given the nod to start Spain’s Euro 2024 opener against Croatia, whose captain Luka Modric was already a full international before Yamal was born.

But what became of the other starlets that were trusted to feature in European football’s biggest international tournament? We’ve checked in on the 10 youngest players to play in a Euros match and checked in on where they’re at today.

10. Marcus Rashford

(England vs Wales – Euro 2016)
18 years, 229 days

2016 was quite the year for Rashford. He scored on his debuts for both Manchester United and England, broke Wayne Rooney’s record as the youngest Englishman to play at a European Championship and appeared destined for a glorious career.

Eight years on and his true level is a divisive topic. The forward has enjoyed periods of form where he’s more than lived up to his early world-class potential but has also endured long stretches whereby he’s struggled. A largely poor 2023-24 resulted in him being omitted from Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad, while last time out he missed a penalty in the Wembley final shootout defeat to Italy.

9. Pedri

(Spain vs Sweden – Euro 2020)
18 years, 201 days

The Barcelona starlet was named Player of the Tournament at Euro 2020, in which he played a starring role in Spain’s run to the semi-finals.

Despite having clocked up thousands of minutes during that fledgeling period of his career, Pedri went on to play for La Roja at the Olympics later that summer – a move that was widely criticised at the time due to workload concerns.

In a development that nobody could possibly have predicted, Pedri has struggled with injuries since first breaking through. But he remains a wonderful talent when fit and firing and is a key player for Spain’s Euro 2024 prospects.

8. Johan Vonlanthen

(Switzerland vs England – Euro 2004)
18 years, 137 days

The winger was born in Colombia but raised in Switzerland, aptly developing his skills with Young Boys before moving on to PSV.

Vonlanthen went on to receive 40 international caps and enjoyed a respectable if not remarkable career, largely for clubs in Switzerland. He retired in 2018 after a stint with second-tier FC Wil.

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7. Valeri Bojinov

(Bulgaria vs Italy – Euro 2004)
18 years, 128 days

The Bulgarian might not have lived up to his Football Manager wonderkid potential IRL – best remembered for an inauspicious stint at Manchester City shortly before their takeover – but he’s still playing two decades later. Fair play.

Somewhere along his Wikipedia page we stopped counting how many clubs he’s represented, but it’s a lot. Pushing two dozen. Redefining the term journeyman, he’s currently turning out for OFC Kostenets in his home country.

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6. Jamal Musiala

(Germany vs Hungary – Euro 2020)
18 years, 117 days

Three years after making a name for himself on the international scene, Musiala remains on a very healthy career trajectory.

He represents Bayern Munich’s future and may be key to Germany’s hopes of success of winning Euro 2024 on home social this summer. How good was he in their mauling of Scotland?

5. Enzo Scifo

(Belgium vs Yugoslavia – Euro 1984)
18 years, 115 days

The Belgian held the record as the youngest player in European Championship history for almost three decades. Nicknamed Little Pele at youth level, Scifo went into Euro 84 off the back of a season in which Anderlecht finished runners-up to Tottenham in the UEFA Cup.

The Red Devils suffered a disappointing first-round exit that year, but Scifo went on to represent them in four successive World Cups from 1986 to 1998 and famously scored one of their most iconic goals against Uruguay at Italia ‘90.

An early big-money move to Inter never quite worked out but the midfielder went on to enjoy a fine career, complete with four Ballon d’Or nominations and an undisputed status as one of Belgium’s all-time greats. He eventually retired in 2001 and later worked as a coach, with his latest stint at Royal Excel Mouscron in 2021.

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4. Jetro Willems

(Netherlands vs Denmark – Euro 2012)
18 years, 71 days

The left-back became the youngest player in European Championship history when he featured for the Netherlands at Euro 2012 – a tournament in which they went home with their tail between their legs after losing all three group games.

That summer came off the back of an eye-catching breakthrough season with PSV, where he remained until 2017, leaving for Eintracht Frankfurt after winning two Eredivisie titles and one KNVB Cup. A so-so loan to Newcastle United in 2019-20 failed to rekindle his career and nowadays he’s turning out for Heracles Almelo, who narrowly avoided Eredivisie relegation last term.

Willems went on to receive a total of 22 caps for the Oranje, but none since 2016, while that remains his only major tournament appearance.

3. Jude Bellingham

(England vs Croatia – Euro 2020)
17 years, 349 days

Doing alright for himself, isn’t he?

Jude Bellingham made his first Champions League final appearance in 2024.

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2. Kacper Kozlowski

(Poland vs Spain – Euro 2020)
17 years, 246 days

Six days after Bellingham set the record, it was broken by Polish midfielder Kozlowski, who had recovered from a car crash that had almost ended his career before it began.

He’d earned himself a reputation as a rising star when he was breaking through at boyhood club Pogon Szczecin, and six months after his brief Euros cameo he signed for Brighton & Hove Albion with a view to him becoming their next Moises Caicedo-esque development project.

But Kozlowski hasn’t quite kicked on as expected since then. He’s yet to make his Seagulls debut, having been sent out on development loans to Union SG and Vitesse, and has missed out on Poland’s Euro 2024 squad, having not received an international cap since 2021.

1. Lamine Yamal

(Spain vs Croatia – Euro 2024)

16 years, 338 days

Just daft how good he is. Don’t think about what you were doing with your life at 16, you’ll only weep.