On Saturday evening in the 83rd minute of the Serie A men’s football match between Milan and Fiorentina, the youngest player ever to make his debut in Serie A: his name is Francesco Camarda, he is an Italian striker, and was born on 10 March 2008 At the time of his entry into the field he was 15 years, 8 months and 15 days old. The previous record belonged to Wisdom Amey of Bologna, who made his debut in a match against Genoa on 12 May 2021 at the age of 15 years, 9 months and 1 day.
In the fifteen minutes in which Camarda was on the pitch he barely touched a couple of balls, without having an impact on the match, which Milan laboriously won 1-0. Even before he entered, the organized AC Milan fans had dedicated a chorus of encouragement to him. When he entered there was a small roar, to which Camarda reacted with an embarrassed smile.
Camarda makes his debut. The smile on his face is wholesome pic.twitter.com/PSBbZSiFFj
— Martino Puccio (@MartinoPuccio) November 25, 2023
The most passionate AC Milan fans know him well because he has long been spoken of as one of the best talents in Italian football. Two years ago, at 13 years old, he scored an average of 5 goals per game. Since he was a child he has always played at least one category above the kids his age. Today he plays in the spring team together with players who are aged 17 to 19, therefore between two and four years older than him. Spring coach Ignazio Abate is measuring his use, perhaps to make him gradually adapt to yet another leap in his career (until a few months ago Camarda played with the under 17s).
Francesco Camarda, 13 years old:
2017/2018: 247 goals in 40 games.
2018/2019: 172 goals in 31 games.
2019/2020: 64 goals in 16 games.
483 goals in 87 games.
An average of 5.5 goals per game.
Of not believing. 😳😱🤯 pic.twitter.com/FeZOGwJlHx
Even if he doesn’t always play, Camarda is continuing to score: this season he has scored 7 in 13 games, including one with an overhead kick against Paris Saint-Germain’s spring team in a Youth League match, i.e. the Champions League of spring teams .
— Fabio Baldonieri (@fabiobaldonieri) November 7, 2023
Although Milan coach Stefano Pioli has defined him as “ready” and has had him training with the first team for several weeks, it is possible that yesterday’s match will remain an exception: Camarda also came on because Milan had no other center forward to use due to the disqualification of the starter, the Frenchman Olivier Giroud, and the injury of his first reserve, Noah Okafor. On the pitch, Camarda looked visibly frailer than everyone else: at 15 years old, his physique has not yet finished developing and it will still take some time for him to become that of a professional footballer.
Milan’s plan seems to be to let Camarda play at least a couple of seasons in the spring team before integrating him permanently into the first team. At the moment in the main European leagues no player born in 2008 plays permanently with the first team: the youngest talents who have emerged in recent months are Warren Zaïre-Emery of Paris Saint-Germain, born in 2006, and Lamine Yamal of Barcelona, born in 2007.
The next important step in Camarda’s career will be his first professional contract, which he will be able to sign from the day he turns 16, i.e. March 10, 2024.
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