Coming through the ranks at AC Milan's academy, Francesco Camarda established himself as a very prolific goalscorer.
Aged 15 years and 260 days old, Francesco Camarda pulled on the famous black and red striped jersey of AC Milan on Saturday, 25th November, 2023, and made history as the youngest ever debutant in the Italian Serie A.
The striker was brought on in the 84th minute, as a substitute for Luka Jović during his team’s 1-0 victory over Fiorentina, and broke the record previously held by Wisdom Amey who was 15 years and 274 days old when he made his debut for Bologna in May 2021.
FootballOrbit brings you all you need to know about the 15-year-old youngster.
Francesco Camarda was born on the 10th of March 2008 in Milan, Italy.
As a child, he also took an interest in kickboxing.
He started his football career with Afforese, a football school in Milan. During his time with Afforese, he trained with AC Milan Academy and went on to join the Italian giants permanently in 2015, after just over a year with Afforese.
In his first training session with AC Milan, he was deployed as a defender, but after continually dribbling through the opposition teams and scoring, he was moved up front to play as a striker.
Building up a reputation as an Assassin…..
During his time in the academy of AC Milan, Camarda established himself as a prolific goalscorer.
Notably, at an Under-9 tournament in Austria, the youngster was taken off due to injury with his side 2-0 down against Bayern Munich. He asked his coach to return to the field and went on to score two goals and provide an assist in the eventual 3-2 win.
His prolific form continued as he progressed through the academy, and he went on to score 22 goals in 24 games for AC Milan’s U-15 side — leading them to the U-15 Scudetto title.
Eventually, his incredible goalscoring feats brought him into limelight. Camarda scored 247 goals in 40 games in 2017/18, 172 goals in 31 games in 2018/19 and 64 goals in 16 games in 2019/20.
That’s a total of 483 goals in 87 games, at an average of 5.5 goals per game. Astonishing!!!
With the under-19 team
Francesco trained with AC Milan’s U-19 side at the age of 14, and scored two goals for the side in a friendly win against Solbiatese.
He made his UEFA Youth League debut against Newcastle United on in September 2023, scoring a brace in a 4-0 victory.
These goals made Camarda the second-youngest player to score a brace in the tournament and the youngest-ever Italian goalscorer at 15 years, 193 days — breaking Fabrizio Caligara’s record of 16 years, 189 days.
In the ongoing 2023/24 season, the striker has scored 7 goals and provided 2 assists in 14 games for AC Milan’s U19s.
Senior team involvement for Francesco Camarda!
Due to a shortage of strikers in the senior team (with Olivier Giroud suspended and both Rafael Leão and Noah Okafor injured); AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli called up Camarda as part of the first team squad for the Serie A game against Fiorentina on the 25th of November 2023.
In order to do so, the club had to specifically request an authorization from the Italian Football Federation, as under-16 players are normally not allowed to be part of an Italian first team.
Francesco Camarda was eventually subbed on in the 83rd minute, becoming the youngest Serie A footballer ever at just 15 years, 260 days of age.
The previous youngest debutant was Bologna’s Wisdom Amey, who was 15 years and 274 days old when he made his first appearance in 2021.
Ethan Nwaneri holds the Premier League record; he was aged 15 years and 181 days when he played for Arsenal against Brentford in September 2022.
Moreso, Camarda also surpassed Paolo Maldini, who made his Serie A debut for AC Milan in January 1985 at 16 years and six months.
Francesco is also one of only 8 players to have made their debut in the Italian top flight before their 16th birthday.
At international level, the youngster has represented Italy at under-15, under-16, and under-17 levels.
Francesco Camarda’s style of play
Francesco Camarda has incredible composure, sharp finishing instinct, high footballing IQ, good vision for finding space, makes timely runs, decent pace, dribbling ability, as well as good link-up and hold-up ability.
What next for Francesco Camarda?
The 15-year-old will return to train with Milan’s U-19s this weekend and won’t be involved in their UEFA Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund as he wasn’t registered in their European squad.
His next possible involvement with the first team will be next week against Frosinone in the Serie A, with Olivier Giroud still suspended.
AC Milan have regularly shown that they are ready to give deserving youngsters a chance to to the senior team.
Notably, Gianluigi Donnarumma made his debut for the Rosonnerri in 2015 at the age of just 16 years and 242 days — making him the second-youngest goalkeeper to start a match in the history of Italian football.
Still about 100 days shy of his 16th birthday, Francesco Camarda — who has been scoring for fun in the youth ranks — will hope to make his mark with the first team very soon.