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Pulisic Becomes Youngest USMNT Captain Ever. Where Does His Achievement Rank Globally?

During a friendly against Italy on Tuesday, Christian Pulisic recorded a pretty special achievement, although it’s also something of a non-event: At the age of 20 years and 63 days, he became the youngest captain in the history of the USMNT. Pulisic eclipsed the previous mark set by Landon Donovan, who led out the side at the age of 22 years and 220 days.

It’s an important mark in the Anglosphere because we have a strange fetish with the captaincy — we equate it to Hollywood-inspired notions of bravado and a requisite marshaling of the troops. It’s also a non-event because in many football mad countries, like Italy and Spain, they simply don’t give a shit, and this is probably the better approach to take.

Regardless, here’s how Pulisic’s achievement compares to some other notable players/countries in world football:

Youngest International Soccer Captains 

Zé Elias, Brazil: 19 years and two days

Aaron Ramsey, Wales: 20 years and 90 days 

Darren Fletcher, Scotland: 20 years and 115 days

Julian Draxler, Germany: 20 years and 235 days 

Dolf Kessler, Netherlands: 21 years and 28 days 

Raphael Varane, France: 21 years and 172 days 

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal: 22 years and one day 

Bobby Moore, England: 22 years and 47 days

Michael Owen, England: 22 years and 100 days

Neymar, Brazil: 23 years and 22 days 

Lionel Messi, Argentina: 23 years and 343 days

As you can see, Pulisic is the best footballer on the planet. Now if someone could just pass him the damn ball.

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