The World Cup often presents itself as an opportunity for the next crop of young players to make a name for themselves and this year is no different.
As of writing, as many as 14 teenagers have featured in the World Cup so far. Several of them have already had a huge impact on the tournament so far.
We’ve gathered the data and compiled a list of the top 10 youngest players to have played at the 2022 World Cup. As a point to note, the likes of Jamal Musiala and Pedri just miss out on the list by a matter of months.
10. Xavi Simons
The Dutch playmaker had been in fine form for PSV in the build-up to the World Cup with eight goals and three assists in 14 Eredivisie appearances.
Simons is the youngest player in the Netherlands squad and was just 19 years, seven months, and 12 days old when he featured in their 3-1 win against the USA.
PSV are flying in Zurich! 😮💨
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 6, 2022
9. Brandon Aguilera
Costa Rica had quite the mix of youth and experience within their squad this year. Aguilera was only 19 years, four months and 26 days old when he made his first appearance against Spain.
The young midfielder played a total of 89 minutes throughout the tournament and started in their 4-2 loss against Germany.
8. Jude Bellingham
Bellingham was one of the most sought-after midfielders in Europe before the tournament began, but now the hype has reached a totally new level.
The Borussia Dortmund was only 19 years, four months and 23 days old when he starred against Iran during England’s 6-2 opening victory.
7. Alejandro Balde
The Barcelona full-back is the understudy to his fellow teammate Jordi Albia in the Spanish national side and he has been given plenty of opportunities by Luis Enrique.
Balde was 19 years, one month and five days old when he played against Costa Rica and he has since featured in all three of Spain’s group-stage matches, as well as their first knockout clash against Morocco
6. Antonio Silva
Portugal have both the youngest and oldest centre-half at the World Cup this year which is some achievement. There was a 20-year age gap between Silva and Pepe when they both started for Portugal against South Korea.
Silva was just 19 years, one month and two days old when he made his World Cup debut, making him the youngest centre-half at the tournament.
5. Abdul Fatawu Issahaku
Fatawu just sneaks onto the list after his only appearance at the World Cup came in Ghana’s final group stage match against Uruguay where he was introduced as a 98th-minute substitute.
He did get two touches of the ball while he was on the pitch and was just 18 years, eight months and 24 days old at the time. The youngster looks like a huge prospect for the future.
🌟 FUTURE. STAR. 🌟
— CAF (@CAF_Online) May 31, 2021
4. Jewison Bennette
Bennette has looked lively in the Championship this season for Sunderland and he got his chance to shine on the world stage with Costa Rica.
The winger featured in all three of their matches during the tournament and was 18 years, five months and eight days old during his first match of the tournament.
Barcelona’s Gavi practically stole the show with a superbly composed performance in Spain’s 7-0 hammering of Costa Rica.
Spain’s midfield now looks set for the next decade with Gavi and Pedri looking like one of the best duos at the tournament, despite La Roja’s shock exit to Morocco in the last 16. Gavi himself was only 18 years, three months and 18 days old when he starred against Costa Rica.
What. A. Goal. 🔥
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) November 23, 2022
2. Garang Kuol
To have played against France and Argentina at the World Cup must have been a surreal experience for the young Kuol.
The Australian forward was only 18 years, two months and seven days when he came off the bench for Australia in the second half against France. What a story it would’ve been had he taken this golden chance against Argentina.
Just imagine the scenes if this went in 🤯
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 3, 2022
1. Youssoufa Moukoko
The award for the youngest player to have featured at the 2022 World Cup goes to Germany’s Moukoko who had just turned 18 when he featured against Japan.
The Borussia Dortmund forward has been in fine form this season, scoring six goals in the Bundesliga so far this season. He made his World Cup debut for Germany aged just 18 years and three days old.
While this tournament didn’t exactly go to plan for Germany, we’re sure that we’ll be seeing plenty more from Moukoko in the future.