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Lionel Messi and Lamine Yamal: The story behind the bathing photo

Lionel Messi and Lamine Yamal: The story behind the bathing photo
Lionel Messi and Lamine Yamal: The story behind the bathing photo

In 2007, Lionel Messi was photographed bathing a baby for a calendar. When the photo was taken, no one could have guessed that two world stars would be seen in it.

A football star bathing a stranger’s child – that alone sounds strange. But when the baby is on the way to becoming a superstar himself almost 17 years later, the story takes on a whole new twist. The evidence of this is currently a hit on social media. The photo shows Lionel Messi bathing Lamine Yamal, who is just a few months old, in a tub. That’s right, Yamal, the shooting star of the Spanish national team at the European Football Championship.

The photo was first shared by Mounir Nasraoui, the father of Lamine Yamal, on the day of Spain’s quarter-final match against Germany. The title that Nasraoui gave the picture: “The beginning of two legends.”

But how did the photo come about? The picture was taken in the winter of 2007 for the Catalan newspaper “Diario Sport”, which published a charity calendar. The FC Barcelona squad posed with several families and children. But the photo with Messi was particularly difficult, photographer Joan Montfort now recalls in “The Athletic”. “Messi is a shy guy today, but back then he was even shyer, standing there with a small child at a plastic tub filled with water.”

Lamine Yamal as a baby in the arms of Lionel Messi

At the beginning there was little to no interaction, but they approached the picture step by step. “In the end it turned out to be a pretty good photo,” says Montfort. The official pictures from the photo shoot are now circulating on the Internet. The fact that he photographed the then up-and-coming world football star and a possible future world star still amazes the photographer today. “Back then, no one would have thought that this baby could become the player he is today – or that Messi would become the person he is today in world football.” Messi was only at the beginning of his career at the time.

Messi, still a young star in Barcelona’s star-studded squad at the age of 20, was already considered a future world star in 2007 and had just become a regular player for the Catalans. At that point, Messi had already won two championships and the Champions League with Barcelona, ​​and the first of eight awards as World Player of the Year was to follow in 2009.

Yamal breaks all records in the Spanish league

At that time, it was not yet foreseeable that years later Yamal would become a promise of world football himself. Nor that he would already break Messi’s records. At the age of 16 years and 87 days, he became the youngest goalscorer in the history of La Liga in October 2023. At the current European Championship, he became the youngest player in history and the youngest player to assist three goals at a European Championship.

Both Messi and Yamal were trained at La Masia, FC Barcelona’s legendary youth academy. However, the two have never played together for the professionals. Messi left the Catalans for Paris in the summer of 2021 and has been finishing his career in Miami since 2023. Yamal made his debut for Barcelona in April 2023 at the age of 15 years, nine months and 16 days – as the youngest player in the history of the league.

Source: Stern

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