Youngest Player to Score in FIFA World Cup: World Cup History

The youngest player to score in FIFA World Cup has become an iconic figure in soccer history. Since 1930, when the first World Cup tournament was held in Uruguay, a number of teenage players have achieved the remarkable feat of scoring amid soccer’s greatest event.

This article will take you through some of the youngest ever players to score in a World Cup, as well as a brief overview of the World Cup’s history.

Pele (Brazil) 17 years, Brazil vs. Wales – 19 June 1958

In 1958, Brazilian footballer Pele made history by becoming the youngest player to score in FIFA World Cup.

At just 17 years and 239 days old at the time of his goal in the quarter-final match against Wales, Pele etched his name into soccer world cup history.

This remarkable feat was further bolstered when he went on to become the youngest player to score a World Cup hat-trick in Brazil’s 5-2 win over France in the semi-finals.

Pele also scored two goals in Brazil’s other 5-2 win over Sweden, making him not only the youngest player to score a goal but also the youngest to play and score in a football World Cup final.

youngest player to score in fifa world cup
Brazil’s seventeen-year-old Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento, center) weeps on the shoulder of goalkeeper Gylmar Dos Santos Neves (right) after Brazil’s 5-2 victory over Sweden in the final of the soccer World Cup in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 29, 1958. Other players are unidentified (AP Photo)
Photo by Icon Sport

His achievements throughout this tournament are unmatched and to this day, he is considered one of the greatest players in soccer history.

Pele was also part of the Brazilian teams winning the 1962 and 1970 FIFA World Cups. He is rightfully remembered as a legendary footballer who changed the face of soccer world cup history forever.

Manuel Rosas (Mexico) 18 years, Mexico vs. Argentina – 19 July 1930

Manuel Rosas of Mexico is the second youngest player to ever score in a FIFA World Cup match, at 18 years and 93 days old.

This record was set during the 1930 competition when he scored two goals against Argentina in a 6-3 defeat. Interestingly, three days before this game, Manuel Rosas scored an own goal for Chile (although it was not counted as his official youngest goal due to being an own goal).

This makes him the youngest scorer of both the first penalty ever awarded in a World Cup match and also the youngest scorer of the first own goal in World Cup history.

His feat is remarkable considering that some of the world’s greatest players have competed in past soccer World Cups, yet none were able to beat Manuel Rosas’ record until today.

His two goals have left an indelible mark on soccer World Cup history and will live on in soccer lore for years to come.

Gavi (Spain) 18 years, Spain vs. Costa Rica – 23 November 2022

Gavi, of Spain, became one of the youngest players to score in a FIFA World Cup match at just 18 years old. His goal came during their 2022 Qatar group stage match against Costa Rica and was the fourth of seven goals for Spain; his performance earned him the Player of the Match award.

Gavi’s successful strike made history as he was the youngest player to do so since Brazilian legend Pele scored in 1958. He also took home another record title as the youngest footballer to represent Spain in an international tournament.

This momentous occasion shows that despite age, hard work can pave the way for greatness regardless of circumstances.


It is evident that age does not necessarily depict success in the game as some of the youngest players have played in the World Cup and have created great milestones in their careers.

This, therefore, calls for more interest and talent development programs to be put in place so as to enable more participation of the youth in soccer.

Also, the world cup should be a time when young talents are unearthed. This is one platform where they can get global recognition which might propel them into successful professional careers.