In the second half of Poland's Euro 2020 Group E clash with Spain in Matchday 2, 17-year-old Kacper Kozlowski came on as a second half-substitute, thus making history not just in this edition, but in the competition's entire lifetime. He has become the youngest player to ever feature in the UEFA European Championship, at just 17 years and 246 days.
Kozlowski broke the record just six days after England's wunderkind Jude Bellingham had originally set it. During England's opening match at Euro 2020, Bellingham came off the bench in the dying minutes. He replaced Harry Kane in the 82nd minute of the 1-0 victory over Croatia in Matchday 1. When Bellingham broke the record, he was 17 years old and 345 days old.
Prior to the start of the UEFA European Championship 2020, Jetro Willems, who shined for the Netherlands in Euro 2012, was the all-time youngest player in the European Championship at the age of 18 years and 71 days. It took 28 years for someone to smash Enzo Scifo's record of 18 years and 115 days from his appearance in Euro 1984 for Belgium.
Six other youngest players at UEFA European Championship 2020
It might not take much for another player to break Kacper Kozłowski's record considering the fact that the Euros certainly serve as a window to highlight the value and focus for the next generation of players around Europe. However, until the next European Championship in 2024, his accomplishment is very safe.
The Pogon Szczecin midfielder and the Borussia Dortmund rising star are the only two 2003-born players who have been called up for this summer's edition of the UEFA Euro, meaning no other player can now step up and take Kozłowski's crown away. The Polish history maker was born on October 16, while Jude Bellingham, who was born on June 29, is exactly 109 days older than him. Let's take a look at the other youngest players at UEFA European Championship 2020.
1. Pedri (Spain)
In just one season, the Barcelona kid has climbed through the ranks in Spain, bringing his extraordinary potential to the attention of the whole football world. Luis Enrique granted him his international debut in March after Pedri had played more games for Barcelona than any other player this season, and the Spanish coach has intimated that he's more than simply filling in the numbers in this tournament. He was likened to Barcelona star Andres Iniesta for his playing style, and he justifiably earned a berth in Luis Enrique's Spain squad.
2. Georgiy Sudakov (Ukraine)
Sudakov is a product of Shakhtar Donetsk's academy that has produced many other Ukrainian stars in history. After going through the academy levels, the midfielder finally debuted for the senior side in 2020, against no other than Real Madrid in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League. Under well-established national legend and current national team coach Andriy Shevchenko, Sudakov debuted for Ukraine in an International Friendly against Bahrain in May 2021.
3. Illya Zabarnyi (Ukraine)
Illya Zabarnyi, who made his debut for Dynamo Kyiv last September before getting his debut in the Ukraine senior team a month later, had busy 12 months. For a Dynamo Kyiv side that won the Ukrainian league and gave away the least number of goals than any other side (15), the 18-year old played a vital part. Zabarnyi had also featured in all of Dynamo's Champions League and Europa League matches.
4. Nuno Mendes (Portugal)
Portugal are one of the favorites, and it's easy to see why considering the strength of their team. The fact that Nuno Mendes is not their first option for the left-back speaks much about Fernando Santos' talent. During the 2019/20 season at Sporting, the youngster continued his breakout by youngster established himself as first-choice and beginning all but five league games, eventually winning the Portuguese league. The 18-year-old can make a deadly cross by the left flank, which could easily result in some towering headers from Cristiano Ronaldo.
5. Adam Hlozek (Czech Republic)
Adam Hlozek is unlikely to push Patrik Schick out of the Czech Republic starting line-up, but the 18-year-old is coming off a fantastic domestic season for Sparta Prague. He scored 15 goals in 19 league games last season – no player scored more in the Czech top division – 10 of them came in his final six games of the season. He has the physical presence to cause all kinds of issues, standing just under 6 ft 2 in.
6. Jamal Musiala (Germany)
The loss of England is in fact a benefit for Germany. England is loaded with talented young attackers, but the choice of Jamal Musiala to represent Germany was a big blow for the Three Lions. Even when Thomas Muller came back this summer, Joachim Low's youngster might still prove to be a crucial weapon. His average stats of 4.5 dribbles for 90 minutes for Bayern was above the number of any other Bundesliga player during the season.