French U17 champion in 2011, runner-up with the U19 in 2012, and in the starting line-up in midfield against Bordeaux, Adrien Rabiot is still just 17 years of age. It's a been a steep ascension for the youngster. And for his Ligue 1 debut, the new PSG midfielder didn't disappoint. Starting on the right side of a three-man midfield alongside internationals Thiago Motta and Blaise Matuidi, the PSG No.25 showed great confidence, illustrated by his combination with Nene down the right and the lovely skill to beat his defender.
A Ligue 1 debut at the Parc des Princes on Sunday
Indeed he received a great ovation as he quit the field, replaced by Jérémy Ménez on the hour mark. "This match was a big moment for me, my first match in Ligue 1 and in the starting line-up... It's incredible, at just 17... The coach had confidence in me and I gave it everything I had. I played for 60 minutes and gave it everything."
In 2011, the U17's defeated Marseille in the final
After spending time at Manchester City before joining the youth ranks at Paris Saint-Germain, the Saint-Maurice (Val-de-Marne) native quickly showed all his class. Holding midfielder in the final of the 2011 U17 French championship against Marseille, he dropped into central defence after the sending off of a teammate after just half an hour and helped his side prevail 2-1. It was a first win for the club in that age group. The next season, Adrien Rabiot won the first Al-Kass International Cup U17 overcoming the likes FC Barcelona, Juventus and Ajax Amsterdam amongst others.
In 2012, the U19's lost the championship final against Auxerre
Six months later he was playing attacking midfielder in the finals series of the U19 French championships. A goal and an assist in the semi-final agaisnt Nantes 2-0, and on the scoresheet in the final against Auxerre, the Parisian starred as the club just missed out 2-3. It was last season that he caught the eye of Carlo Ancelotti and the coaching staff, who quickly integrated him into the professional squad late season and offered him a first pro contract in July.
Mamadou Sakho, the youngest ever Parisian against AEK Athènes
At 17 years, 4 months and 23 days, he became the club's youngest ever Ligue 1 French debutante ahead of Mamadou Sakho, (20/10/2007 vs Valenciennes 0-0; 17yrs, 8mths and 7 days). In Ligue 1, only the Nigerian striker Bartholomew Ogbeche has done better (25/11/ 2001 vs Nantes 2-1; 17yrs, 1mth and 24 days). In all competitions, Mamadou Sakho is the youngest ever Parisian to start a competitive match, (14/2/2007 vs AEK 0-2 in the Europa League, at 17 years and … one day)! Lets hope Adrien Rabiot enjoys a career as good as his teammates, still in the starting line-up at the capital club, as well as a regular with Les Bleus...