When you think of the youngest debutants in the history of the game, a certain pattern is revealed; a pattern where you will notice all of these particular players started off at relatively smaller clubs.
Almost like a metaphorical booster-seat to prepare them for the long professional careers ahead of them, players such as Andrea Pirlo and Stephan El Shaaraway who both made their debuts at 16 for much lesser outfits.
A few exceptions spring to mind, of course, such as Alen Halilovic, who made his debut at 16 in the Champions League for Dinamo Zagreb.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
A night to cherish for the young Croatian, who is now slowly getting into his stride at the Nou Camp.
As of last night, the tide of youth washed over the big leagues yet again as 16-year-old wonder-keeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, made his professional debut for AC Milan against Sassuolo, becoming the youngest goalkeeper in league history.
It was a surprise to all when Milan gaffer Sinisa Mihajlovic replaced the experienced Diego Lopez, 33, and injected the youngster - but the occasion was wonderful as Donnarumma displayed comfort and assurance in a solid 2-1 victory at the San Siro.
In much need of points after a poor start, Mihajlovic's choice to hand Donnarumma his dream record-breaking debut looked a good one, but will we see much more of him this season?
The Italian has already played regularly for Milan in pre-season, even against Real Madrid, although the safest option would be to break him into the team gently and not spoil this obvious promise.
After breaking Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon's record, who made his debut at 17 for Parma, Donnarumma's future looks very bright indeed.
Sporting the number 99 shirt last night, could he eventually minus that by 98 and become Italy's number one? That's a debate time must solve.