European Football Championship: “Genius” Yamal celebrates European Championship history – picture with Messi inspires

European Football Championship: “Genius” Yamal celebrates European Championship history – picture with Messi inspires
European Football Championship: “Genius” Yamal celebrates European Championship history – picture with Messi inspires

Spain celebrates, Europe is amazed: Lamine Yamal writes European Championship history. After a baby bath with Lionel Messi, there are breathtaking parallels. A German world champion suspects why.

After the biggest performance of his career so far and reaching the European Championship final, Lamine Yamal’s millions of fans were not only interested in his dream goal – but also in an incredible series of photos of him as a toddler with Lionel Messi.

Messi, who was 20 at the time, is holding baby Lamine, wrapped in a fluffy cloth, in his arms. In another photo, he is bathing the astonished little boy, while his mother Yamal is also watching. The photo was clicked millions of times on social media. Yamal’s goal in the 2:1 win against France – even multiple World Footballer Messi couldn’t have scored it much better

“My mother always said that it was her dream that I would score a goal at the European Championships,” said Yamal, who was named player of the match. “I’m happy that I was able to score my first goal against France in a semi-final.” He tries to “just have fun and help the team.” A fan account on X reached hundreds of thousands of people that night with the Yamal-Messi photo.

On the long road to the prestigious tournament stage, it is quite strange that Messi came into contact with Yamal, perhaps the future world footballer, as early as 2007 during a photo shoot for a charity calendar. And it was so symbolic. Today, Yamal’s star, who turns 17 the day before the final on Sunday in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, is shining brighter than ever at the European Championships.

Frightening parallels

The parallels to Argentina’s superstar Messi are so strong that a script writer would have been criticized by the producer for a badly constructed story. Messi wore the number 19 in Barcelona at the time, Yamal now wears the Spanish national team. Messi’s glorious history with Barça is well known. Yamal wants to shape a new era with the Catalans – in the future under former national coach Hansi Flick.

The only two players who had more than 15 chances, 15 shots and 15 dribbles in the last two World Cups or European Championships are? Of course, Messi and Yamal. “No one can compare to Messi,” said the German 2014 World Champion Christoph Kramer, “but Yamal is an amazing player.” His World Cup colleague Per Mertesacker described Messi’s baby act on ZDF as a sacrament. “Baptized, not bathed.”

German world champion praises: Always a message

After the deficit was put behind by former Frankfurt player Randal Kolo Muani (9th minute), Yamal turned the game around with a fantastic curler (21st) and Leipzig’s Dani Olmo (25th). Before the 2-1, Yamal created space for Olmo with a pass. “I think not only his speed dribbling is outstanding, but also that he always finds the right pass at the right moment with the right sharpness,” said Kramer. “He always sends a message with his pass.”

Top – against Rabiot?

But the youngster also sends messages verbally. After his goal-masterpiece in the arena, he slid towards the bench on his knees, jubilant, his braces flashing in the spotlight. The message that could be heard was “Habla, habla” (talk and talk) and was supposedly meant for the dance-weary Adrien Rabiot.

“The person I spoke to already knows that I’m talking to him,” Yamal replied cheekily. Rabiot had said before the game that they wanted to get Yamal out of his comfort zone.

Younger than Pelé

Thanks to his equaliser, at just 16 years and 362 days old, Yamal became the youngest goalscorer in the tournament’s history. And not only that. He is also younger than Brazil legend Pelé when he scored his World Cup goal as the youngest player.

“Lamine, global impact,” was the headline in the Spanish sports newspaper “Marca.” A “historic Lamine Yamal” carried Spain, wrote the French daily “Le Figaro.” National coach Luis de la Fuente also joined in the tremendous continental praise. “You saw the genius of a genius,” said the 63-year-old.

Coach’s advice: “Stay humble”

The long-time coach of the youth national teams also urged prudence in this glorious chapter of European Championship history. “I would like to give him some advice: that he remains humble and keeps both feet on the ground and wants to continue to improve,” said de la Fuente.

He has a team with 26 “football geniuses,” said the coach. “The team has a great future ahead of it.” Olmo, who is still at Leipzig, also received special praise for his role in the European Championships, which is increasingly showing himself to be in favor of a mega transfer, for example to Yamal’s FC Barcelona or Rodri’s Manchester City.

A golden generation?

After the Spanish all-winners from 2008 to 2012, including Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Leverkusen’s current championship coach Xabi Alonso, Yamal, Olmo and Nico Williams now want to shape an era. “The golden generation also had to build the legacy first,” said leader Rodri.

First of all, it’s about the European Championship final. “My goal was to celebrate my birthday here in Germany,” said Yamal, whose Barcelona contract, which runs until 2026, is said to have an exit clause of one billion euros. He doesn’t have any great wishes for the special day before the final, at most the obvious: “Nothing, just win, win, win.”

Source: Stern

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