Euro 2024: Genius, demigod… Lamine Yamal puts Europe at his feet

Euro 2024: Genius, demigod… Lamine Yamal puts Europe at his feet
Euro 2024: Genius, demigod… Lamine Yamal puts Europe at his feet

“Genius”, “demi-god”, “fabulous”… the international press lacks words to describe the Spanish phenomenon Lamine Yamal, man of the match against France in the semi-final of Euro 2024 by becoming the youngest player to score in a major tournament at 16 years and 362 days.

“Checkmate.” Touched by Adrien Rabiot’s words on the eve of the match calling on him to “do more” if he wanted to reach the final, the FC Barcelona prodigy responded brilliantly by sending him flying on one step and rolling his left foot to the opposite side, out of reach of Mike Maignan, before shouting to the camera “go on, talk, talk!”.

The teenager denied targeting the French midfielder, but he said that “destiny puts everyone in their place” and his latest Instagram post left no room for doubt, with the caption “Checkmate”, a reference to a slogan he posted before the match in English: “Move forward in silence, only speak when it’s time to say ‘checkmate'”.

The photos of this gem that left the French defense cold and put Spain back on the path to the final were massively shared on social networks by Spanish supporters as a reminder that you should never speak too soon, especially against a talent as precocious as he is stunning.

They logically find themselves on the front page of several newspapers and websites, all of them rave reviews:

“Lamine final” is the headline in the Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo, which hails in its pages the “brutal” appearance of the FC Barcelona winger “at the moment when Spain needed him”, while Marca speaks of “a goal for eternity” and a photo “to be framed”.

The English newspaper The Times goes even further by writing “Yamal’s brilliant genius takes Spain to the final, the next (football) demigod has arrived”, in the same vein as ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who wrote on X “Lamine Yamal is doing illegal things. He’s only 16, guys”.

“Bright future”

Passing through the mixed zone, his teammate Rodri also praised the Catalan teenager: “I am very proud of Lamine. People will keep the goal, the stellar appearance of this 16-year-old boy. The future that awaits him is bright, but I congratulated him for his defensive commitment, his very complete match, the constant help he provided… Hats off, really.”

“What we saw was a brilliant gesture produced by a genius,” summed up Spanish coach Luis De la Fuente.

There is a bit of Messi, his idol and his role model, in this gesture and this ability to eliminate effortlessly, and to come back on his left foot to look for the shot or to deposit a caviar to one of his partners.

The photoshoot unveiled a few days ago by the father of the high school student, still a baby at the time alongside the Argentine genius, is perceived by the Spanish press as an almost divine sign. And Tuesday’s evening in Munich will only strengthen this connection, even if the Barcelona prodigy refuses any comparison.

Yamal, who will celebrate his 17th birthday this Saturday, July 13, is now dreaming of a wonderful birthday present: a victory in the Euro the very next day.

“I’ve already told my mother not to give me anything for my birthday, to be in the final, and to win it, would be something great,” said the Barcelona player, who will break yet another record for precocity by becoming the youngest player to play in a Euro final ahead of Portugal’s Renato Sanches (18 years and 328 days).



PREV PSG – Barcelona: The announcement that will shake up the transfer window?
NEXT Juventus: Adrien Rabiot, the official announcement