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Lamine Yamal: The teenager with the world at his feet


He is now the youngest goal scorer in Euro history. He turns 17 on Saturday: "My goal was to celebrate it in Germany and I have achieved it." Morata, injured in the knee by a steward

Lamine Yamal celebrates his goal against France.
Lamine Yamal celebrates his goal against France.El Mundo

There is no record that Lamine Yamal has not obliterated, nor any spectator who remains indifferent to the talent of this player who is not yet 17 years old. Regardless of nationality. He is not old enough to work in Germany, but he has conquered it. Through his boots, Spain's goal has passed, although he had to wait until the semifinal to achieve it and, with it, another record of precocity that will remain for many years. "I try not to think, just to enjoy. I tried to put it where I put it, and that's it," said the player, chosen as MVP.

Lamine had been looking for that goal throughout the tournament, not out of egotism, but because he cannot conceive of any other way to play. He had tested the different goalkeepers 14 times and had provided three assists to his teammates, making him the best assistant of the tournament. But he needed to score to be able to tease his bro Nico, who was sure it would come. And it did just at the moment when Spain needed it the most.

He sent the ball to the back of the net in the 21st minute, when France already had a goal in their favor. And he did it in a remarkable way. He entered the box, didn't see a clear pass for the goal, which would have been his fourth in these six matches, and chose to cut inside Rabiot. The Frenchman was a luxury spectator and had to eat his words. "If he wants to play a final, he needs to do more," he said. The response came on the field with a left-footed shot from 25 meters at 102 kilometers per hour that ended up in the net of Maignan, brushing the right post. Even Pedri, in the stands due to his injury, couldn't help but show amazement at his teammate's amazing goal.

The precedent of the U-17 European Championship

This was not the first time he beat a French goalkeeper with a cannon from outside the box. In 2023, at the U-17 European Championship in Hungary, he did it as well. This goal was vital for Spain and places him in Euro history. Yamal is not only the youngest player to participate in a Euro, but also the youngest goal scorer at 16 years and 362 days, as he will turn 17 next Saturday. "I ask to win, win, and win. The goal was to reach my birthday in Germany, and I have achieved it," he confessed. The Barça player has shattered the record set by Swiss Johan Vonlanthen in the 2004 Euro in Portugal when he scored at 18 years and 141 days. The third in this precocity podium is the Englishman Wayne Rooney.

Before halftime, Dani Olmo also scored, with the assistance of Koundé, turning the score around and making Vicente Del Bosque, in the stands, show his confidence. "I saw some complicated minutes at the beginning, and then the team showed its identity," analyzed the former coach, as amazed as any fan at Lamine Yamal's performance. "This morning I met his father, charming. He is a very young boy but with great maturity that he shows on the field. And he scored an amazing goal that makes me reasonably optimistic," he confessed.

Del Bosque shared the stands with former players like Fernando Llorente or Karembeu, or with Barcelona's sporting director, Deco, who is excited about the gem they have found in the youth academy and who is astonishing all of Europe. The same thoughts were shared by the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, and the Minister of Sports, Pilar Alegría, who enjoyed Spain's game in a box where Pedro Rocha was also present, presiding over the match alongside Alexander Ceferin and the president of the French Federation, and a group of territorial presidents who accompanied the team.

Boos for Cucurella and Morata's injury

Close by, in the stands, were the players' families. Claudia, Cucurella's wife, suffered with the boos that accompanied the full-back throughout the match. In the Allianz Arena, there were ten thousand Spaniards, as many French, and the rest were Germans who 'punished' the Catalan for the handball in the semifinals, which, for them, was a penalty but not for the referees. It was a penance that Cucurella gladly endured.

Also in the stands was Alice Campello, Morata's wife, the protagonist of the week for his confessions to El Mundo, along with their four children. Daddy didn't score, but he fought tirelessly against the strong French defense and ended up with an unfortunate injury: a security agent collided with him, and he may have knee damage.

The match was tough for Jesús Navas, who also became the oldest player to play in a Euro semifinal. Another piece of history that Luis de la Fuente's Spain will leave behind. His duel with Mbappé wore him out, and the coach chose to shift Nacho and bring in Vivian. His parents and his girlfriend strolled through Munich and, in a confession to this newspaper, showed their conviction that the center-back would get minutes against France. Just as certain as we would meet in Berlin.