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Lamine Yamal Breaks Records and Surpasses Pelé, Inspired by Childhood Photo with Messi

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Discover how Lamine Yamal, inspired by a childhood photo with Lionel Messi, has shattered records in the Euro Cup, surpassing legends like Pelé. Read about his journey from La Masía to becoming Spain's youngest football prodigy.

Lamine Yamal: The Prodigy Who Met Messi as a Baby

Lamine Yamal, the young sensation of Spain and FC Barcelona, has been making waves in the football world. Recently, a photo of a four-month-old Yamal with Lionel Messi went viral, shared by Yamal's father on social media. This picture, taken during a charity event for a calendar by FC Barcelona and UNICEF, shows Messi holding a baby Yamal, a moment that has now become iconic. Yamal, who will turn 17 just before the Euro 2024 final, expressed his admiration by sharing the photo on his social media with a goat emoji, symbolizing Messi as the 'greatest of all time'.

Breaking Records and Making History

Yamal's journey from that innocent photo to breaking records in the Euro Cup is nothing short of extraordinary. At just 16 years and 362 days, he became the youngest player to participate in a semi-final of a major tournament, surpassing the legendary Pelé. In that match, he scored a crucial goal, making him the youngest player to score in Euro Cup history. This achievement broke the previous record held by Johan Vonlanthen since 2004. Despite his young age, Yamal balances his football career with his education, attending virtual classes while competing in the tournament.

Born in Esplugas de Llobregat near Barcelona, Yamal is the son of a Moroccan father and an Equatorial Guinean mother. His talent was nurtured at La Masía, FC Barcelona's famed academy, where he quickly caught the eye of coach Xavi Hernández. Yamal made his debut for Barcelona's first team at just 15 years old and has since continued to set records, including becoming the youngest scorer in the Spanish League and the youngest player in a Champions League match.

Yamal's rapid rise has not gone unnoticed. His former coach Xavi praised his talent and fearlessness, predicting a bright future for him. Yamal's debut for the Spanish national team also made history as he became the youngest player to score for Spain in a 7-1 victory over Georgia. As he continues to play and break records in Euro 2024, Yamal's journey from a baby in Messi's arms to a football prodigy is a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication.

  • The viral photo of Lamine Yamal with Lionel Messi was part of a charity calendar organized by FC Barcelona and UNICEF in 2008. The project aimed to capture heartwarming moments between Barcelona players and children, with each month featuring a different player. The session with Messi and baby Yamal took place in the visiting locker room at Camp Nou, with Messi initially shy but eventually relaxed, thanks to a rubber duck that brought smiles to both Messi and Yamal.
  • Yamal's father rediscovered the photos and shared them on social media, sparking widespread interest and amusement among fans. This moment of serendipity, captured almost two decades ago, has now become a symbol of Yamal's deep connection to FC Barcelona and his admiration for Messi. The photographer, Joan Monfort, and the marketing head, Oriol Canals, who were present during the shoot, recall the session as a blend of luck and destiny, highlighting the unique bond between the young prodigy and the football legend.
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