Youngest Players to Play Professional Football

Youngest players to play professional football

In the football world, there is a lot of competition. Not only on the field but also outside of it. At times, several clubs, and leagues have shown a keen interest in signing young athletes before they even reach the legal age for playing professional football. The world of professional sports is filled with plenty of examples of extraordinarily gifted young stars. It has become much more common to see children participate in professional sports, some even become the big names we know today. For kids out there who have dreams of becoming top athletes, here is a list of the youngest players to play professional football.

Top 7 Youngest Players to Play Professional Football

Who are the youngest players to play professional football?

U-16 Mexican football team

1. Lucas Knecht – the youngest player to play professional football

The youngest player to play professional football-Lucas Knecht
Lucas Knecht

He (born 30 March 1993) is a Northern Mariana Islands footballer who plays as a striker for the Saipan Soccer Club. He is the youngest player to play professional soccer in the history of football and the Northern Mariana Islands. Knecht was born in Germany. He moved to the United States at age nine, where he played for East Side Kickers SC in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2009, he moved to Saipan and joined the Saipan Soccer Club. Knecht debuted at age 15 on 9 January 2009 against Paire FC. He made an immediate impact by scoring the opening goal after just 90 seconds of play. His first season was interrupted by an injury suffered while playing with the Northern Mariana Islands under 16 teams. Furthermore, he has also played for the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville club team to compete in the Premier Development League.

On 12 September, his 20th birthday, Lucas Knecht signed a 1-year deal with Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda.

2. Aung Kyaw Tun

The Myanmar national football team with Aung Kyaw Tun

Aung Kyaw Tun, also known as Aung Kyaw (born 5th Aug 1986 in Rangoon, Burma), is a retired Burmese footballer. He made history when at 14 years and 93 days old, he became the second-youngest player to play professional soccer. Also, Tun became the youngest ever player to feature in a FIFA-recognized match. At 14 years and 93 days old, he played for Burma against Thailand during the 1978 AFC Youth Championship.

He also scored in the match against Thailand, making him the youngest ever international male goalscorer- a record which still stands. Freddy Adu, 15 years and 169 days old, broke his record. He then broke this record again himself by playing for his country against Israel on 9 October 2007.

3. Moussa Latoundji

the third-youngest player to play professional football-Moussa Latoundji
Moussa Latoundji

He (born 13 August 1978) is a former Beninese professional footballer. He played as a central defender for clubs in Portugal as well as Romania.
Born in Porto-Novo, Latoudji started his career in his native Benin with the amateur side Dragons de l’Oueme. In 1998, he moved to Portugal to join Division One side Estrela da Amadora. Then he debuted for the club on the opening day of the 1998–99 season against Leixoes. Latoundji became the third-youngest player to play professional football. Furthermore, he played 22 league games that season and finished as the club’s top scorer with eight goals. Clube Oriental de Lisboa bought Latundji at the end of the season. He spent two seasons with Oriental before departing for Romania to join Gloria Bistrita.

4. Joel Fruit

Joel Fruit (born 31 May 1998) is a Northern Mariana Islander professional footballer. He plays as a defender for MP United. He was the fourth-youngest player to play professional soccer when he debuted for MP United at age 15 on 14 August 2013.
Joel started his career at the age of 13 as a member of the MP United Under-15 team. In 2013. He was promoted to the first team and became the team’s youngest player ever. He made his debut at age 15 on 14 August 2013 against Kanoa FC in the Marianas Cup. Also, he became the fourth-youngest player to play professional soccer. He started and played all 90 minutes in the match and also MP United won 1-0.

As of January 2014, Fruit has made six appearances in all competitions for MP United and has yet to score a goal.

5. Christopher Louisy

Louisy became the fifth-youngest male international footballer when he made his debut on 11 October 2019. It was a 0–0 away draw against the Bahamas in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification match. At the time, he was 14 years and 187 days old. He started the next game, a 7–0 away victory over Montserrat on 14 October 2019. Louisy was born and raised in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. He attended Grace Academy High School. He joined the local club Cheshire Hall United at age 12. Finally, in 2019, aged 14, he transferred to the youth team at English club Birmingham City.

6. MacDonald Taylor Jr.

The 6th youngest footballer
MacDonald Taylor Jr.

He (born March 22, 1992) is an American-born professional soccer player. He played as a forward for the USL Championship side North Carolina FC. During his time with Seton Hill University, Taylor scored 49 goals in 66 games. He earned himself the All-American status and the conference MVP award. Taylor signed a developmental contract with Major League Soccer side D.C United in 2013. But he never played a match for them. Taylor spent the 2016 season on loan with USL side Charleston Battery before joining the club permanently ahead of the 2017 season. Taylor scored six league goals in 37 games in two seasons with Charleston.

In January 2019, Taylor moved to North Texas SC after spending part of 2018 with FC Motown. However, he made his debut on April 6 against OKC Energy FC as an 81st-minute substitute for Arturo Rodriguez in a 3–0 win. He scored his first goal for the club on May 15 against Tacoma Defiance as well as the second goal of a 2–1 victory.

7. Kennedy Izuka

The 7th youngest player Kennedy Izuka with his team
Kennedy Izuka with his team

Finally, Kennedy Izuka is the seventh-youngest professional soccer player in history. Kennedy Izuka was born on March 27, 1998. He has already signed with a Major League Soccer team and is currently in college at the University of Maryland. Kennedy Izuka began playing soccer at age four. He played for a local club team, the San Jose Earthquakes in 2007. He also played for the U15 national team. In addition, in 2013, Kennedy signed a contract to play for the San Jose Earthquakes as their youngest professional player. Moreover, he has been recognized as one of the best young soccer players in the U.S. Also, his goal is to become an international star with a high-profile agent and a lucrative endorsement deal

You might be interested to read about the best strikers in the Premier League.


We hope you enjoyed our article on the youngest players to play professional football. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. The source for the data of this article is Wikipedia. This page’s content is subject to change at any time. However, our website( makes no guarantees about the information’s accuracy.

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