Talk about making an impact.
The 17-year-old Eduardo Camavinga scored a stunning overhead kick inside the first 10 minutes of his first start for the French national team – in a 7-1 victory over Ukraine on Wednesday – to become the country’s youngest goal scorer in over a century.
At the age of 17 years and 11 months, Camavinga’s goal ensured he became France’s second youngest player ever to score for Les Bleus – 106 years ago Maurice Gastiger scored against Switzerland in March 1914 aged 17 years and five months.
“Well done to him. He is a young player who has a lot of qualities, of ease,” France’s head coach Didier Deschamps told reporters.
“He was lucky enough to score that goal for his first selection as a starting player. Afterwards, it’s not because he’s not yet 18 years old that I’m going to say no, he’s too young.
“I took him last month and I’m taking him back today. If I make him play it’s because I think he’s capable. Now that’s for him to prove it on the field, you shouldn’t ask too much of him too. But he is there.”
Born in Angola, Camavinga moved to France at the age of two, according to L’Equipe. He was spotted by Rennes playing football in Fougères, 50 kilometers from the city, at the age of 13. He signed his first professional contract with Rennes in December 2018 and, in an attempt to tie down his future at the club a little longer, signed an extension in August 2019 until 2022.
Having burst onto the footballing scene with Rennes – with standout performances coming against Ligue 1 heavyweight’s Paris Saint-Germain – Camavinga became a regular starter for the side at just 16 years of age.
During his first full season for Rennes, he helped the Brittany club qualify for the Champions League for the first time in its history.
Now in his third season with the club, Camavinga has become a vital part of the side. And after six games of the 2020-21 season, Rennes sit atop the Ligue 1 table, having not lost any of its opening games.
Last year, just five days before he turned 17, Camavinga got his French citizenship.
Shortly afterwards, he made his debut for his national team last month when he replaced Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante in the second half of his side’s 4-2 win against Croatia in the UEFA Nations League.
And midfielder Camavinga showed fans what they could be looking forward to for the foreseeable future, marking his full debut with a goal at the Stade de France.
Camavinga’s goal wasn’t the only historic moment for Les Bleus. Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud’s two goals – his 41st and 42nd for France on his 100th appearance – meant he overtook Michel Platini as France’s second highest top scorer. He is now only behind former Arsenal and Barcelona striker Thierry Henry who scored 51 times for France.