Lamine Yamal has admitted that he’s living his dream after the Barcelona wonderkid scored on his international debut for Spain on Friday (September 8).
The 16-year-old stepped off the bench in the 44th minute of La Roja’s 7-1 demolition of Georgia in an UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier to become the youngest player in his nation’s history. He then became their youngest goalscorer when he netted his side’s seventh goal of the evening in the 74th minute.
Yamal has become one of not only Barcelona but Spanish football’s most promising teenagers. Many are touting him as the biggest talent to come out of their La Masia academy since Lionel Messi.
Yamal also became the Blaugrana’s youngest debutant earlier this year and their youngest player this century. The Barca sensation has reacted to his record-breaking first goal for Spain.
He says that he made the right decision in opting to represent La Roja over Morocco who he was eligible for through his father (via EuroFoot):
“I am living a dream. I am very happy. I am very satisfied with the decision (of choosing Spain over Morocco). It is going to be a very long road with Spain.”
Yamal’s stock is growing seemingly every time he steps on the pitch as he continues to break records. He has dazzled at the start of his Barcelona career, bagging two assists in five games across competitions.
Blaugrana boss Xavi has high hopes for the young Spanish wonderkid (via ESPN):
“We have big expectations, even more so when you see what you see (on the pitch). He is not starting games on a whim. He starts because we feel he can effect matches.”
Yamal’s goal for Spain capped off a 7-1 romp for De la Fuente’s side over Georgia in their Euro 2024 qualifier.
Alvaro Morata grabbed a hat-trick while Dani Olmo and Nico Williams were also on target. Solomon Kvirkvelia scored an own goal while Giorgi Chakvetadze scored a consolation goal for Georgia.
Spain boss Luis de la Fuente surprised by Barcelona’s teenage sensation Lamine Yamal
Spain manager De la Fuente has admitted that Lamine Yamal is even better seeing him play up close than watching on television. The Spanish coach was yet to be given the opportunity to select the Barcelona teenager before now. He said (via BarcaBlaugranes):
“Lamine Yamal seemed very good to me, watching him on TV. But now that I’m working with him, I think he’s much better.”
Yamal is following in the footsteps of many Spanish legends who started their career in the national team at an early age. The likes of his Barca teammates Gavi and Ansu Fati (on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion) also made their debuts at a similar age (both 17).
However, the Barcelona teenager has eclipsed them as the youngest player in Spain’s history. He could look to make more history when La Roja face Cyprus on Tuesday (September 12). He may even be pushing for a starting berth in De la Fuente’s team.