Football News

Generation Foot wunderkind Amara Diouf becomes Senegal’s youngest-ever international

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 12:30, 10 September 2023

A day after Lamine Yamal made history with Spain fifteen-year-old Amara Diouf entered his name into the record books.

Barcelona forward Yamal, 16, became the youngest player and scorer for La Roja as Luis de la Fuente’s men ran out 7-1 winners at Georgia in their Euro 2024 qualifier.

At the age of 16 years and 57 days old, Yamal broke the milestone his current Barça team-mate Gavi set in 2021 aged 17 years and 62 days.

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However, the Spaniard wasn’t the youngest player to win his first international cap during this international break. Having already booked their spot in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, the defending champions handed teenager Diouf a shock call-up.

Diouf, who turned 15 in June, turns out for the prestigious Generation Foot academy, which has previously developed Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr and Pape Matar Sarr.

The wunderkind had impressed at the recent U17 AFCON and was named in the competition’s best XI after winning the Golden Boot with five goals across six games subsequently helping the young Lions win the championship.

His five-goal tally at the youth tournament broke Victor Osimhen’s record of four which he established in the 2015 edition.

Diouf, the captain of Senegal’s Under-17 team, came on in the 70th minute in their final AFCON qualifying match against Rwanda and was close to scoring in the 81st minute but his shot was by Rwanda’s goalkeeper Fiacre Ntwari.

“A first of many caps for the youngster, who has certainly impressed in a star-studded Senegal side that heads to Cote d’Ivoire as defending champions of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations,” CAF said in a statement.

Senegal leads Group L in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with 14 points after six matches played.

To put Diouf’s debut in some historical context, he’s the youngest player to make his international debut for a top-50-ranked nation since Martin Ødegaard played a full 90 minutes for Norway against the United Arab Emirates in 2014 at 15 years and 253 days old.

Ødegaard still holds the record as the youngest player to feature in European Championship qualifying, making his competitive debut against Bulgaria at 15 years and 300 days old.

According to the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF), the youngest European international on record is Sam Johnston. Aged 15 years and 153 days, he played in Ireland’s first-ever international fixture against England in 1882, a 13-0 defeat. The nation was not known as Northern Ireland until 1954.

But the youngest player in men’s international football on RSSSF’s records is Lucas Knecht. Aged 14 years and two days old, he made his debut for Northern Marianas in a 9-0 defeat to Guam in April 2007.