Every so often a teenager breaks onto the scene in world football and is given the chance to show their talents, often against elite players at the top of their game.
One of those teenagers is Lamine Yemal, the Spanish winger born in 2007 who became the youngest player to play for Spain and the youngest player to play for Barcelona this year. He also became the youngest player to score for Spain, and this weekend he helped Barca rescue a point against Grenada and became the youngest player to score for Barcelona as well as La Liga’s youngest-ever scorer at just 16 years and 87 days old.
“When we see that a player can help the team, we give him the opportunity,” said Barca coach Xavi. “Lamine is helping us a lot and making a difference. He scored an important goal.”
Yamal, who is a product of Barca’s academy and has been with the club since he was 5 years old, has featured in all nine of Barcelona’s La Liga games this season, starting five of those matches. And this team are the reigning champions of Spain, with some of the top talents in the world fighting for game time.
The key for Yamal is when he picks up the ball he is so direct in his dribbling that the crowd support his mindset of always thinking about hurting the opponent.
There is always a danger of overhyping young players when they break through, as the big challenge is that they continue to grow and develop as their careers progress. Yamal has four more seasons to develop before he’ll reach the age of 20, which is crazy to think about as he’s already featuring regularly at one of the world’s best clubs.
I wish him the best of luck in his development and look forward to being entertained by his talents in Spain and on the world stage. #mmlove