What happened to Mauricio Baldivieso, the youngest professional player in football history?

Mauricio Baldivieso is the the youngest ever professional footballer

Over the past two years or so, three ‘youngest ever’ records have been broken across Europe’s top five leagues.

In May 2019, Liverpool’s Harvey Elliot became the youngest Premier League player in history at 16 years and 30 days old.

Just over a year after Elliot’s achievement, RCD Mallorca’s Luka Romero broke La Liga’s 80-year record by making his debut at 15 years and 219 days old.

Then in November 2020, Borussia Dortmund prodigy Youssoufa Moukoko’s appearance from the bench against Hertha Berlin a day after his 16th birthday made him the Bundesliga’s youngest ever player.

All three are incredible achievements, but they pale in comparison to a record set by Mauricio Baldivieso back in 2009.

Just a few days shy of his 13th birthday, the 12-year-old Bolivian midfielder made his professional debut for Club Aurora against La Paz.

The manager who brought him off the bench was his own father, but it’s still an incredible record and one that will likely never be broken.

So what happened to Baldivieso since his remarkable feat in 2009? Well, his footballing career has sadly never taken off.

In fact, the now 24-year-old – who played one game for Bolivia’s U20 side – is currently a free agent and he hasn’t featured for a team since his contract expired at San Jose in 2018.

Baldivieso rejoined Club Aurora in 2011 when his father returned for a second stint as manager, scoring three goals in his 19 league appearances.

Baldivieso in action on his debut

That little spell was as good as it’s got for the midfielder so far in his career, as afterwards he proceeded to hop from one Bolivian club to another.

Baldivieso left Club Aurora in 2013 at the age of 16, joining Nacional Potosi. Two years later, he was on the move again, signing for Universitario de Sucre where he made just three appearances.

His second transfer of 2015 saw him join Jorge Wilstermann and once again, he failed to really do much, making only eight appearances and scoring a solitary goal.

In 2016, Baldivieso signed for San Jose, where he made just 13 more appearance as a professional before being released.

It looks like the Bolivian’s footballing career will be remembered only for the remarkable record he set back in 2009…

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