The German top flight has always been a hotbed for talented teenagers keen to announce their arrival on the world stage. Many such rookies did so in the best possible way – by getting on the scoresheet. bundesliga.com takes you through the top 10 youngest goalscorers in the league, including Jamal Musiala and Christian Pulisic...
Many such rookies did so in the best possible way – by getting on the scoresheet. bundesliga.com takes you through the top 10 youngest goalscorers in the league…
Age: 17 years and 34 days
Wirtz became the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history when he steered in his first goal for Bayer Leverkusen at the age of 17 years and 34 days on Matchday 30 of the 2020/21 season. A half-time substitute, and making only his fourth Bundesliga appearance having dislodged Kai Havertz as Leverkusen's youngest-ever debutant at the age of 17 years and 16 days, Wirtz curled a memorable goal past Bayern Munich and Germany No.1 Manuel Neuer.
2) Nuri Sahin
Age: 17 years, two months and 21 days
Previous number one Sahin had already created history when he was still 16, as in 2005 he became the youngest player ever in the Bundesliga – a record he still holds to this day. The future Turkey international set another benchmark in November the same year, firing home what proved the crucial second goal for Borussia Dortmund in their 2-1 victory at Nuremberg. Now at Werder Bremen, Sahin won the league with BVB in 2011 before also lining up for Real Madrid and Liverpool.
Age: 17 years, six months and 12 days
Draxler grew up watching Schalke from the stands, and he became the youngest player in the club’s history when he made his debut in January 2011. The realisation of childhood dreams continued in April of that year, when he came off the bench to seal a 2-0 win at St. Pauli. The teenager later added to his place in Royal Blues folklore by scoring the opening goal in the 2010/2011 DFB Cup final win over Duisburg, and finished his spell at the club with 30 goals in 170 appearances. A FIFA World Cup and Confederations Cup winner with Germany, Draxler left for an 18-month spell at Wolfsburg in 2015 and has since filled up his trophy cabinet while with Paris Saint-Germain.
4) Timo Werner
Age: 17 years, six months and 16 days
Lethal at RB Leipzig, Werner first gave notice of his talent at VfB Stuttgart. Shortly after becoming the youngest player to feature for his hometown club, the striker opened his account in professional football with a headed equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Eintracht Frankfurt on 22 September 2013. Once the youngest player to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances – a record since beaten by Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz – the 24-year-old has been scoring regularly ever since. Having moved from Stuttgart to Leipzig in 2016, the Germany attacker is closing in on 100 top-flight goals.
Watch: How Timo Werner does his scoring
Age: 17 years, six months and 24 days
Musiala became Bayern's youngest ever player in the Bundesliga at just 17 years and 115 days old when he featured against Freiburg on the penultimate weekend of the 2019/20 season. He followed that by becoming the Bavarian club's all-time youngest goalscorer, smashing the record set by an 18-year-old Roque Santa Cruz, with the eighth goal in an 8-0 demolition of Schalke on the opening day of 2020/21. The half-English, half-German midfielder only joined the club in summer 2019, from Chelsea.
Age: 17 years, six months and 30 days
Pulisic was the trailblazer for the current generation of American talents taking the Bundesliga by storm, including the likes of USA international teammates Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent. The attacker from Hershey in Pennsylvania made his first league appearance for Dortmund in January 2016, and was at the time the youngest American to feature in the German top flight.
That record was bettered by BVB youngster Gio Reyna during the 2019/20 season but Pulisic remains the youngest foreign-born player to score in a Bundesliga game. The two-time US Soccer Male Athlete of the Year award winner netted the opening goal in a 3-0 victory over Hamburg in April 2017. It was the first of 19 strikes in all competitions for Dortmund before he moved to Chelsea in July 2019.
Watch: Christian Pulisic, made in the Bundesliga
7) Lars Ricken
Age: 17 years, eight months and one day
March 1994 proved an eventful few weeks for Ricken. On the first of the month he made his debut for Dortmund in a UEFA Cup quarter-final tie against Inter Milan, and a week later he appeared in the Bundesliga for the first time. In a month of firsts, three days later the attacking midfielder started – and scored – in a 2-1 win over Duisburg. To prove that was no fluke, he was on target again in the second leg against Inter.
The future Germany international would claim the first of his three league titles Dortmund a year later. Now BVB’s youth coordinator, he scored a breathtaking goal in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League final as Dortmund became European champions thanks to a 3-1 success against Juventus.
8) Ibrahim Tanko
Age: 17 years, eight months and seven days
The second-youngest player to feature for Dortmund and still the fourth-youngest to line out in the Bundesliga, Tanko is on another top-10 list thanks to his efforts against Bayer Uerdingen in January 1995. The Ghanaian attacker got the third goal in a 3-1 success that helped Dortmund on their way to lifting the Bundesliga title for the first time. An injury crisis late in the campaign saw Tanko team up with fellow youngster Ricken up front, and Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team finished one point ahead of Bremen. He later played for Freiburg but retired at the age of 30 after injuries took their toll.
9) Kai Havertz
Age: 17 years, nine months and 22 days
Having become Leverkusen’s youngest ever debutant in October 2016, Havertz set another club record when he volleyed home an equaliser in a 3-3 draw with Wolfsburg on 2 April 2017. He then scored a whopping 17 league goals in the 2018/19 season – another milestone for a Bundesliga teenager – and in December 2019 brought up a record-breaking century. Havertz snatched another record from Germany teammate Werner when – at the age of 20 years, six months and four days – he played against Cologne to become the youngest player to clock up 100 Bundesliga appearances.
Watch: Kai Havertz's roots
10) Fiete Arp
Age: 17 years, nine months and 22 days
Having entered the world on 6 January 2000, Arp will forever be in the record books as the first player born in the new millennium to score in the Bundesliga. The teenager had already been banging them in for club and country at youth level when he was thrown in by Hamburg at Hertha Berlin in October 2017. Arp soon pulled a goal back to create history in the 2-1 defeat, and later earned a move to Bayern in July 2019.