Issue number 344 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post lists the 100 footballers worldwide who did not yet celebrate their 20th birthday and gained the most experience in official senior matches over the course of the year (minutes weighted by sporting strength of employer clubs or competitions played). The FC Barcelona’s gem Pedri González is clearly at the top of the table ahead of Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP) and Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax).
The Brazilian midfielder Matheus Martinelli (5th) is the best-ranked teenager playing outside of Europe, ahead of the 2003-born Uruguayan Fabricio Díaz from Liverpool Montevideo (8th) and his teammate at Fluminense Lucas Calegari (12th). Apart from Díaz, two other footballers born in 2003 are in the top 20 positions of the rankings: the Englishman Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) and the German Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen).
The Paraguayan Julio Enciso (Club Libertad) is the only footballer born in 2004 in the top 100 list. With 22 goals in official senior games in 2021, Benjamin Šeško (Salzburg and Liefering) is the top scorer among players listed. The Slovenian striker outranks the Czech national A-team player Adam Hložek (Sparta Praha), the Uruguayan Matías Arezo (River Plate Montevideo) and the German with Nigerian descent Karim Adeyemi (Salzburg).
Players under 20 with most experience in 2021
Minutes, matches and goals in official senior matches until 16/08/2021