Bayern Munich won its tenth straight Champions League game on Wednesday at CSKA Moscow, breaking the all-time record shared with the 2002-03 Barcelona team. In the final minutes of the victory, 18-year-old German-American Julian Green celebrated a milestone of his own — the highly-touted forward made his senior team debut for the reigning treble winners.
Green, who was born in Tampa, Florida but moved to Germany at age 2, has featured for both the U.S. and German national teams at youth level, and is yet to decide on his national team allegiance for the future. It is clear that both federations would love to secure the services of the phenom, though he is provisionally tied to Germany after having played for them in the Under-19 European Championships this summer.
Green has dominated the German Regionalliga (fourth tier) this season, scoring 15 goals and six assists in 18 matches for Bayern’s reserve team. His torrid form earned him a senior team contract earlier this month, and on Wednesday his first few minutes of action under Pep Guardiola. Green became the sixth-youngest Bayern player to debut in the Champions League, even beating out several of the team’s top stars, including Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos.
Here’s the full list of Bayern’s top 10 youngest players to make their Champions League debut:
- David Alaba (2010): 17 years, 8 months, 15 days
- Berkant Goektan (1998): 17 years, 9 months, 18 days
- Roque Santa Cruz (1999): 18 years, 30 days
- Samuel Kuffour (1994): 18 years, 1 month, 29 days
- Bastian Schweinsteiger (2002): 18 years, 3 months, 12 days
- Julian Green (2013): 18 years, 5 months, 21 days
- Toni Kroos (2008): 18 years, 10 months, 1 day
- Breno (2008): 18 years. 11 months, 17 days
- Philipp Lahm (2002): 19 years, 2 days
- Thomas Muller (2009): 19 years, 5 months, 27 days
With the exception of busts Berkant Goektan and Breno, every player on that list went on to have long, successful careers, and most of them (save for Santa Cruz) did so with Bayern. If that is anything to go by, Green is set for a sparking career!