THE YOUNGEST players to ever grace the World Cup have been revealed.
Ahead of the upcoming Qatar World Cup in November, anticipation is building around the globe.
Many players never get to experience a World Cup tournament throughout their careers.
However, some get their chance to shine at an extremely young age.
And thanks to research from The Analyst, the youngest five of these have been revealed.
Below SunSport will take you through this esteemed list.
One of the most iconic footballers of all time kicks off the list, with the Brazilian legend making his World Cup debut at the age of 17 years and 234 days old and still holds a number of records even to this day.
Pele is the only player to have won three World Cups, doing so in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and still holds the record for assists (10) and joint-most final goals (3).
The 81-year-old scored 12 times in 14 World Cup games, placing him at number five in the all-time standings for goalscorers at the tournament.
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4. Salomon Olembé
The next man on the list, Salomon Olembe, first appeared for Cameroon at the 1998 World Cup at the age of 17 years and 184 days old.
Olembe registered an assist in his first-ever game in a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso but the 98' tournament would prove to be his most successful.
3. Femi Opabunmi
Femi Opabunmi overtook Olembe at the next World Cup, making his debut against England at the age of 17 years and 100 days old in 2002.
During the early stages of his career, he had courted interest from the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, but within four years of his World Cup debut he was forced to retire after suffering from glaucoma which left him blind in one eye.
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2. Samuel Eto’o
Samuel Eto’o made his first appearance on the World Cup stage six days before compatriot Olembe managed his own, at the age of 17 years and 98 days.
The iconic forward would go on to appear at four World Cups for his nation, scoring three goals in eight games.
And while the World Cup never fostered better than a group stage exit for the Indomitable Lions with Eto'o present, he did help his nation win an Olympic Gold medal and two African Cup of Nations.
1. Norman Whiteside
And finally, the youngest player to ever appear at the World Cup is Northern Irishman Norman Whiteside, who drew comparisons with George Best before injuries curtailed his career.
The former Manchester United star made his World Cup bow against Yugoslavia in 1982 at the age of 17 years and 40 days old.
While his solitary goal at the World Cup didn't arrive until the 1986 tournament, he did become the youngest ever player to receive a booking in World Cup history on his debut.
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