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The Vaughan legacy: The youngest goalscorers in Europe's top five leagues

4 months ago
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April 10 marks 15 years since James Vaughan made Premier League history. Here, we look at the youngest goalscorers in Europe's top leagues.

James Vaughan will always look back fondly on April 10, as this is the date on which he made Premier League history.

Although his top-flight career failed to stay airborne for long, it certainly got off to a flying start when he became the division's youngest goalscorer for Everton against Crystal Palace.

His achievement stands 15 years on but, as you can see below, that's not even close to being the longest such record across the top five leagues in Europe.

Here are the youngest goalscorers ever seen in the Bundesliga, LaLiga, Ligue 1, the Premier League and Serie A. Enjoy your trip down memory lane...

 

BUNDESLIGA: NURI SAHIN (17y, 82d)

Date: 26/11/2005

Match: Nurnberg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Sahin became the youngest player in Bundesliga history when he made his debut in August 2005 at 16 years and 334 days old. Just three months later, he was in the record books again, netting Dortmund's second goal in a 2-1 win at Nurnberg after David Odonkor had put them ahead.

What happened next? Sahin's early career at Dortmund was hugely promising, but things became more difficult once injuries took their toll amid unhappy spells at Real Madrid and Liverpool. He returned to Dortmund and the Bundesliga in 2014 and has been with Werder Bremen since 2018.

LALIGA: FABRICE OLINGA (16y, 98d)

Date: 18/08/2012

Match: Celta Vigo 0-1 Malaga

Olinga made LaLiga history when he (rather fortuitously) scored the only goal of the game in Malaga's 1-0 win at Celta. Rarely have there been more momentous goals scored off the thigh from five yards.

What happened next? Olinga left Malaga for Apollon Limassol in January 2014 but spent most of the next year on loan at Zulte Waregem and then Viitorul. After a dispute with Sampdoria, in which compatriot Samuel Eto'o took the club to court on Olinga's behalf over a player registration dispute, the Cameroon international signed for Mouscron.

LIGUE 1: RICHARD KRAWCZYK (16y, 3m, 15d)

Date: 08/09/1963

Match: Angers 1-2 Lens

Only 11th in the list of Ligue 1's youngest post-war players, Krawczyk leads the way in terms of youngest goalscorers after helping Lens to victory over Angers in September 1963.

What happened next? Part of a proud tradition of players of Polish descent at Lens, Krawczyk spent five years in the first team before playing for Metz, Reims and then returning to his old club in 1976 until 1979.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE: JAMES VAUGHAN (16y, 270d)

Date: 10/04/2005

Match: Everton 4-0 Crystal Palace

Vaughan broke the record held by James Milner when he struck in the 87th minute against Palace, after Mikel Arteta and a Tim Cahill double had put Everton in control.

What happened next? 'Nomadic' is an apt description of Vaughan's career. Apart from Everton - whom he officially left in 2011 - the striker has played for 12 different clubs, most recently joining League One strugglers Tranmere Rovers on loan from Bradford City in January.

SERIE A: AMEDEO AMADEI (15y, 287d)

Date: 09/05/1937

Match: Lucchese 5-1 Roma

The fact Amadei's record stands 83 years on shows what an admirable feat it was (even if it's a game Roma fans would soon forget). He also remains the joint-youngest player to appear in Serie A, the other being Pietro Pellegri.

What happened next? Amadei scored 111 goals in 234 games for Roma and is recognised as a true club great. His time with Atalanta, Inter and Napoli, whom he twice coached in the 1950s and early 1960s, saw him inducted into Italian football's hall of fame in 2018 five years after his death at the age of 92.

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