To become a professional football player, one of the requirements many expect to be in place is for the player to be at least 18 – this is not always the case, though.
Mbappé, one of the most valuable footballers today (and the second most expensive, after Neymar) has gone pro at the age of 16, he became the youngest goalscorer for his home team Monaco at the age of 17 years and 62 days, and became the second ever teenager (after Pelé) to score a goal at a World Cup.
One doesn’t have to be young to score at such a major competition, though. The oldest football player in the world to score at a World Cup was Roger Milla, a footballer from Cameroon, who scored against Russia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup at the age of 42. Today, in turn, let’s take a look at the age range of Premier League players to see who is the youngest and oldest to ever play in its competitions.
The Youngest – Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Bukayo Saka is a London-born footballer of Nigerian descent who started his career at Arsenal’s Hale End Academy before signing a professional contract with The Gunners. There is not much to say about his performance at this point, considering that he has only appeared in one match with the team at the time this article was written – a 4-1 win against Fulham on January 1st. In the last two years, he played for England’s youth team several times.
At the time of his first appearance in the field as a professional player, Saka was 17 years 03 months 27 days, beating the former record holder, Chelsea’s own Callum Hudson-Odoi, who, despite being with the team since 2017, first stepped into the playfield in January 2018, at the age of 18 (plus 1 month 19 days).
The Oldest: Julián Speroni (Crystal Palace)
Goalkeeper Julián Speroni is currently the oldest Premier League player still active at the age of 39. He signed with Crystal Palace in 2004, having played with the team ever since. His first three games with the club saw him playing second fiddle to Gábor Király, a Hungarian goalie who made the spot his own. After his departure from the team, it was Speroni’s time to shine – he repeatedly won the “Player of the Year” of his club.
The world’s oldest active footballer
The world’s oldest football player still active is Kazuyoshi Miura, aka King Kazu, who plays as a forward for J2 League team Yokohama FC. Kazu started his professional career in 1986 with Santos, playing with several Brazilian teams in the years to come. He returned to Japan in 1990 to play at Verdy Kawasaki, where he spent his next eight years, then played with several local and international teams in the coming years. Since 1995, he is a forward at Yokohama, with whom he renewed his contract this January.