Kean was born in Vercelli to Ivorian parents Biorou and Isabelle. When his parents separated when he was four years old, he and his two brothers moved with his mother to Asti, where he spent the rest of his childhood and adolescent years. His older brother, Giovanni, is also a footballer. He grew up a supporter of Inter Milan and idolized Obafemi Martins, their striker at that time. In November 2018, Kean was called up to the Italy senior side by manager Roberto Mancini. On 20 November, aged 18 years, 265 days, he made his senior debut with the Italy national team in a friendly match against the United States in Genk, which eventually ended in a 1–0 victory. On 23 March 2019, Kean made his first start and scored his first goal for Italy in a 2–0 home win over Finland in Italy’s opening UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match. In doing so, he became the youngest forward to start a match for Italy since Edoardo Mariani started against France in 1912; Kean is currently either the fourth or fifth-youngest forward ever to start a match for Italy, behind only Mariani, Leopoldo Conti, Eugenio Mosso, and possibly Rodolfo Gavinelli, as it is not known officially whether the latter was born in 1891 or 1895. Kean also became the youngest player to score for Italy since Bruno Nicolè, who scored twice in a 2–2 friendly away draw against France on 9 November 1958; overall, Kean is the second-youngest goalscorer for Italy, behind Nicolè, at the age of 19 years and 23 days, and the youngest player to score a goal for Italy in both a competitive match, and in a European qualifier. On 26 March, he then scored his second international goal in Italy’s following Euro 2020 qualifier, a 6–0 home win over Liechtenstein.