Some football players entered the history of UEFA Euro as the youngest and oldest players who had the opportunity to perform in this great competition, and in this text, we pay attention to them. For a game like football, age doesn’t matter because if you’re worth it and have quality, it’s completely irrelevant whether you’re 16 or 40 years old. Let’s see which football players made history as the youngest and oldest players.
The Youngest Players
Polish player Kacper Kozlowski tops the list of the youngest players ever to appear at UEFA Euro. He performed at the Euros two years ago when he was only 17 years and 246 days old. He made his debut in the draw against Spain. A year and a half earlier, he had a serious car accident that almost ended his career.
After excellent games for Pogon, he moved to Brighton but did not get a chance there, so he is currently playing for Vitesse as a loan player. At the same championship, six days earlier, the record was set by Jude Bellingham, who made his debut in England’s narrow victory against Croatia at the age of 17 years and 349 days. They are also the only two guys who made their UEFA Euro debut without being of legal age.
The list of the youngest players includes another future star of European football, Jamal Musiala, who made his debut for Germany at the last UEFA Euro at the age of 18 years and 117 days. Since England played in the finals of that tournament, Bellingham is quite expectedly the youngest player who had the opportunity to play in the knockout phase of UEFA Euro. On the list of the youngest players in Euro history who managed to score a goal, former Swiss national team member Johan Vonlanthen holds the leading position.
Vonlanthen scored against France in a 1-3 defeat at the age of 18 years and 141 days. By the way, just a few days earlier, the leading place in the list of the youngest players who scored a goal at the Euro was occupied by Wayne Rooney, but Vonlanthen broke his record very quickly. The youngest player who had the opportunity to appear in the UEFA Euro final was Renato Sanches, who won the title of European Champion in 2016 at the age of 18 years and 328 days.
Pietro Anastasi has held the record for the youngest player who managed to score a goal for a long time. He scored in the UEFA Euro 1968 final in a 2-0 win against Yugoslavia at the age of 20 years and 63 days.
The Oldest Players
As for the oldest players who have appeared at the UEFA Euro, the Hungarian goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly holds the leading position. The lad who became popular for wearing a tracksuit instead of shorts, earning him the nickname “Pyjama Man” at UEFA Euro 2016, featured at the age of 40 years and 86 days in the 4-0 defeat to Belgium in the first round of the knockout stage.
In that match, despite his team’s convincing defeat, he had a spectacular save from a free kick by Kevin de Bruyne. Right behind Kiraly on the list of the oldest players who played at UEFA Euro is the legendary Lothar Matthaus, who played against Portugal at Euro 2000 at the age of 39 years and 91 days.
It was also his last appearance for the German national team. The oldest player in UEFA Euro history to score a goal is former Austrian international Ivica Vastic, who scored in a draw against Poland at the age of 38 years and 257 days. The oldest player who had the opportunity to play in the final is another goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann, who in 2008 with Germany, lost to Spain in the final. He was then 38 years and 232 days old.
At the previous Euro, Leonardo Bonucci became the leader when it came to the oldest players who scored a goal in the Euro final. At that moment, he was 34 years and 71 days old. The oldest player who managed to win the Euro title was Arnold Muhren, who became the champion with the Netherlands in 1988. He was then 37 years and 23 days old.