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Ex-Premier League star makes bold 'Lionel Messi' claim when praising Spain's Lamine Yamal

Ex-Premier League star makes bold 'Lionel Messi' claim when praising Spain's Lamine Yamal

Barcelona may have produced one of the best young players in the world

Lamine Yamal impressed for Spain on Saturday as he became the youngest player to feature at the men's Euros.

Euro 2024 got underway on Friday, as hosts Germany dispatched Scotland in a convincing 5-1 victory.

Many have tipped Spain as a ‘dark horse’ in the tournament who could be a surprise pick to go all the way and win the Euros for the fourth time time after defeating Italy 4-0 in the 2012 final.

The Spanish national team started their campaign on Saturday with a dominant 3-0 win over Croatia, with Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal the goalscorers.

But the star of the match was undoubtedly 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, who started the match on the right wing.

Yamal appeared to be involved in almost every Spanish attack and assisted the third goal with a left-footed cross that was neatly tucked away by Carvajal.

And, former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Fernando Llorente had high praise for the youngster, suggesting he could go on to outperform Lionel Messi, a player many consider to be the greatest footballer of all time.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Llorente said: “Not even Messi was at this level at that age. Lamine Yamal does extraordinary things. He can’t be compared to anyone.”

Like Messi, Yamal has come up through the famous La Masia academy system in Catalunya which has produced several other icons including Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Carles Puyol.

Lamine Yamal faced off against Manchester City's Josko Gvardiol who started at left-back for Croatia (Image: Getty)
Lamine Yamal faced off against Manchester City's Josko Gvardiol who started at left-back for Croatia (Image: Getty)

Yamal enjoyed a breakout season at Barcelona in 2023/24 after making his senior debut for the club at just 15-years-old.

The winger has already surpassed 50 appearances for the club, scoring seven goals and ten assists in that time.

And as he made only his eighth appearance for the Spanish national team, Yamal became the youngest player to feature at the men’s Euros, a record previously held by Brighton and Hove Albion’s Kacper Kozlowski.

In September, he also became Spain’s youngest ever player and goalscorer as he scored the final goal of his team’s 7-1 thrashing of Georgia, who start their own Euro 2024 campaign on Tuesday.

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Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Euro 2024, Spain, Lamine Yamal, Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Football