In 56 years; between 1958-2014, 14 players have entered the World Cup as the youngest in the editions of the tournaments they played in.
Some went on to become legends in the game including Pele, Ronaldo and Samuel Eto’o, while some strive to write their own stories i.e Christian Eriksen.
Unfortunately, a few others came onto the stage with huge potentials, but, never realized their dreams; and among them is Nigeria’s Femi Opabunmi.
A year before the first co-hosted World Cup tournament; Korea-Japan 2002, the forward finished as the Silver Shoe winner in the FIFA U17 World Cup, hosted by Trinidad and Tobago.
His inclusion in the Super Eagles team to the tournament by Head Coach, Adegboye Onigbinde was greeted with approval from the fans.
Onigbinde gave the youngster a World Cup bow against England, making him the third-youngest ever to play at a World Cup.
But he never played for Nigeria again: Opabunmi retired at just 21 after glaucoma left him blind in one eye.
Full list of the youngest teenager of every World Cup from 1958 to 2014:
1958: PELE, BRAZIL (23/10/40)
1962: GIANNI RIVERA, ITALY (18/08/43)
1966: EDU, BRAZIL (06/08/49)
1970: JULIO LOSADA, URUGUAY (16/06/50)
1974: VLADIMIR PETROVIC, YUGOSLAVIA (01/07/55)
1978: ANDRZEJ IWAN, POLAND (10/11/59)
1982: NORMAN WHITESIDE, NORTHERN IRELAND (07/05/65)
1986: NO TEENAGERS (!)
1990: CHRIS HENDERSON, USA (11/12/70)
1994: RONALDO, BRAZIL (22/09/76)
1998: SAMUEL ETO’O, CAMEROON (10/03/81)
2002: FEMI OPABUNMI, NIGERIA (03/03/85)
2006: THEO WALCOTT, ENGLAND (16/03/89)
2010: CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN, DENMARK (14/02/92)
2014: FABRICE OLINGA, CAMEROON (12/05/96)
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