Ansu Fati

The UEFA Champions League has always provided us with some of the best young talents in world football over the years.

Ansu Fati is the latest youngster who is taking Europe by storm with FC Barcelona but there are other nine players who have grabbed goals before their 18th birthday.

So who are these players?

  • Peter Ofori-Quaye – 17 years, 194 days

The Ghanaian became the first 17-year-old in history to score in the Champions League during the late nineties; his goal coming in as a consolation for Olympiakos as they were thrashed 5-1 by Rosenborg. He held the record as the competition’s youngest ever goalscorer for more than two decades.

  • Karim Benzema-17 years, 352 days

Benzema has become a household name with Real Madrid but it was at Lyon where he introduced himself to the world.

Having graduated from their youth ranks, the Frenchman scored his first goal in the competition against Rosenborg in 2005 as Lyon secured a late 2-1 victory over the Norwegian outfit. He was to score 11 more goals for his side before leaving for Madrid where he has won the competition on four occasions.

  • Aaron Ramsey-17 years, 300 days

Anyone who tells you that Aaron Ramsey is a special talent should be believed. Apart from the injuries that he has had, he has remained one of the best midfielders of his generation.

Having arrived at Arsenal from Cardiff, the Wales international bagged his first goal in the competition in a group stage clash at Fenerbache in 2008, his long-range effort seeing the Welshman become just the second player born in the 1990s to score in the competition.

  • Breel Embolo-17 years, 263 days

Embolo made his debut in Europe as a 17-year-old in FC Basel’s Europa League clash against Red Bull Salzburg in March 2014 and was to score his first Champions League goal against Ludogorets a season later.

  • Martin Klein-17 years, 241 days

Klein became the then second-youngest goalscorer in Champions League history after scoring a consolation goal in Sparta Prague’s defeat to Panathinaikos Back in 2005.

  • Cesc Fabregas-17 years, 218 days

If Ramsey is a proper footballer, then former teammate Cesc Fabregas can’t miss the list. Having come through the Barcelona youth system, the Spaniard became Arsenal’s youngest debutant when making his bow as a 16-year-old against Rotherham. His strike, later, against Rosenborg came aged 17 years and 218 days.

  • Bojan Krkic-17 years, 218 days

Bojan broke Messi’s landmark as the club’s youngest ever player and scored 12 goals in all competitions during an impressive breakthrough season, including a first Champions League strike after scoring the winner in a 1-0 quarter-final success at Schalke in 2008.

  • Mateo Kovacic-17 years, 215 days

Mateo Kovacic made his debut in the competition against record winners Real Madrid before scoring his first goal in the competition against Lyon, opening the scoring in an eventual 7-1 defeat for Dinamo in 2011.

  • Ansu Fati – 17 years, 40 days

The new kid on the block has shattered a host of record in what will be his first full season with the club. A month after his birthday, he scored his first Champions League goal against Inter Milan in what proved to be a winning goal for his side.

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