Spain teen Lamine Yamal breaks record on debut


Spain forward Lamine Yamal became the youngest player to ever represent the country after featuring in Friday’s European Championship qualifier against Georgia.

At 16 years and 57 days old, he takes the record from Barcelona teammate Gavi, who was 17 years and 62 days old when he debuted for La Roja in 2021.

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Angel Zubieta (17 years and 284 days), Ansu Fati (17 years and 208 days) and Bojan Krkic (18 years and 13 days) complete the top five.

Lamine Yamal is also eligible to play for Morocco and Equatorial Guinea through his parents, but he has always represented Spain, the country of his birth, at youth level.

He made the final decision to play for the country’s senior side at the end of August following a meeting in Barcelona with delegates from the Royal Spanish Football Federation [RFEF].

“Already on the television he looked great, but working with him he seems even better,” Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said prior to Friday’s game against Georgia.

“He is a very important player for us now and I hope that will continue to be the case for many years. We’re going to give him time, he’s very young, but he’s going to contribute a lot.”

It has been a remarkable year for the teenager, who became the youngest player to feature in LaLiga for Barça when he made his debut for the club in April.

He was still just 15 when he came off the bench against Real Betis. A week later, he also became the youngest player to ever play for the club’s B team.

The U17 European Championships followed, where he scored four goals before Spain were eliminated by France at the semifinal stage.

Barça coach Xavi Hernandez then called him up for the club’s preseason tour of the United States and his performances since have helped him cement his place in the first team squad.

He came off the bench in the first game of the season away at Getafe and has started Barça’s last three matches, earning the player of the match award after setting up two goals in the 4-3 win at Villarreal last month.


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