The opening two gameweeks of the Champions League has already seen four teenage talents make their mark in the goals scored column, with Red Bull Salzburg’s 19-year-old goal machine Erling Braut Haland hitting the headlines for his hat-trick against Genk.
Whilst the quartet, including Manchester City’s Phil Foden, are all impressing at a young age on Europe’s biggest stage, they all remain some way off this list of precociously talented goal scorers.
Here are the five youngest goal scorers in Champions League history…
Martin Klein – 17 years, 240 days
Who? We thought you may ask.
The defender most recently played his football in the Maltese Premier League for Birkirkara FC, following spells at clubs in Hungary and Kazakhstan which probably tells you that his place in this list is probably his career highlight.
Rewind back to the 2001/02 season, and Sparta Prague handed their young defender a chance to play against the likes of eventual winners Real Madrid and Panathanaikos as the Czech side impressively reached the second group stage.
It was against the latter that Klein would write his name into history, scoring in a 2-1 defeat in Greece at just 17 years and 240 days old. His career would never quite reach those same heights as he enjoyed a nomadic existence, though he did earn a solitary cap for the Czech Republic back in 2009.
Cesc Fabregas – 17 years, 218 days
Plucked from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, Cesc Fabregas was promised an easier route to first-team football at Arsenal and the midfielder did not have to wait long for his opportunity under Arsene Wenger.
Handed his debut as a 16-year-old, Fabregas was slowly integrated into the first-team at Highbury and set a whole host of records including becoming their youngest ever player. The Spaniard would make his mark in Europe also, becoming the club’s youngest ever Champions League goalscorer when he found the net in a 5-1 win over Rosenborg in 2004.
Despite winning a host of major honours including the Premier League with Chelsea, La Liga with Barcelona and the World Cup with Spain, Fabregas never quite reached the pinnacle in the Champions League, his nearest miss being part of the Arsenal side beaten in the 2006 final.
Bojan Krkic – 17 years, 217 days
Pipping Fabregas by just a single day is former Barcelona forward Bojan, once regarded as the heir to Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp. Whilst those lofty comparisons seem far-fetched in hindsight, the former Stoke forward began his career in impressive fashion.
Having broken Messi’s record as Barcelona’s youngest ever player, Bojan would score an impressive 12 goals in all competitions in his debut season, including his first Champions League goal.
That came in a quarter-final at Schalke, Bojan scoring the only goal of the game to give his side a precious first-leg lead. Barcelona’s run would ultimately end with semi-final defeat to eventual winners Manchester United, though Bojan’s place in history was secured.
His career would never quite hit the heights projected, though he would win the competition twice, the forward being an unused substitute during Barcelona’s final victories in 2009 and 2011.
Mateo Kovacic – 17 years, 215 days
Fractionally younger than Bojan is current Chelsea midfielder Kovacic, whose precocious talent was recognised by Dinamo Zagreb as they threw him into Champions League action as a teenager.
Having come through an acid test against Real Madrid on his first appearance in the competition, Kovacic would become the second youngest goalscorer in the tournament’s history when he gave Zagreb the lead against French side Lyon.
The game would ultimately end in disappointment and a humbling 7-1 defeat for the Croatian outfit, though it did little to harm the midfielder’s progress as he would go on to become the club’s youngest ever captain.
Moves to Inter Milan and Real Madrid followed, before joining Chelsea on a permanent basis this summer following a successful loan spell last season.
Peter Ofori-Quaye – 17 years, 194 days
No doubt a piece of pub quiz trivia known only by the most statistician-like of football fans, Ghanaian forward Ofori-Quaye is the youngest goalscorer in Champions League history after finding the net for Olympiakos in 1997.
That the goal came as a consolation in a 5-1 defeat is bound to matter little to the history-maker, who was regarded as a bright prospect upon his arrival at the Greek side that year. Whilst he would make little impact on Europe throughout the rest of his career, he did win six successive league titles with the club before leaving in 2003.
Spells at six clubs including the likes of OFI Crete and AEL Limassol would follow, whilst he also earned several caps for Ghana and featured at the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations.
The youngest goalscorer in the history of the Champions League, remember the name, Peter Ofori-Quaye…