LAMINE YAMAL, SPAIN’S NEW SENSATIONAL STAR AT EURO 2024 WAS BATHED BY LIONEL MESSI AS A TOT, 16 YEARS AGO, SEE PICS

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The 16-year-old wonderkid, bathed by Lionel Messi as a baby, who stunned the Euros and is waiting for England: Lamine Yamal is Spain’s star from a deprived area who does his homework in camp and has magic in his boots

  • Lamine Yamal, 16, has taken Euro 2024 by storm playing on the wing for Spain 

Doing your final school exams is stressful enough without almost 50 million people pinning their footballing hopes on you. Lamine Yamal knows no different.

Welcome to the world of Spain’s 16-year-old boy king, balancer-in-chief of school commitments and sporting stardom.

On Tuesday night Yamal scored a stunner against France to help send Spain through to the Euro 2024 final, where they could face England, less than two weeks after discovering his school grades.

Scoring a late winner in PE is the height of many people’s footballing career. For Yamal, hailed by his manager as a ‘genius’ and once washed as a baby by Lionel Messi, there are bigger fish to fry.

Just ask Barcelona – so determined are they to keep hold of Yamal that they have a clause in his contract demanding £868million from anybody who wants to buy him. So, who is Yamal, a potential successor to Messi still wearing braces?

Lamine Yamal (left, pictured with father Mounir) is taking Euro 2024 by storm at 16 - and he could face England in the final
Lamine Yamal (left, pictured with father Mounir) is taking Euro 2024 by storm at 16 – and he could face England in the final
The Barcelona star curled in a stunning strike to fell France and lead Spain to the grand stage
The Barcelona star curled in a stunning strike to fell France and lead Spain to the grand stage

He has had to do homework and complete his school exams while at the Euros with Spain

He has had to do homework and complete his school exams while at the Euros with Spain

Yamal was washed by Lionel Messi as a baby in 2007 in a Barcelona calendar photoshoot

Yamal was washed by Lionel Messi as a baby in 2007 in a Barcelona calendar photoshoot

Yamal was born in Barcelona in 2007 to a Moroccan father, Mounir, and his mother Sheila from Equatorial Guinea.

The 16-year-old Euros star doing homework between games: Lamine Yamal is the wonderkid with a secret

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Both flags of those boots are sewn into his customised boots in a sign that he has not lost sight of his roots.

He was brought up in the family home in Rocafonda, a built-up residential area around 20 miles up the coast north-east of Barcelona.

One thing that is striking is how supportive his family appears. After his wondergoal on Tuesday, his sister was in tears in the stands in Munich while his mother was seen embracing another family member.

His uncle’s bakery is now adorned with a graffiti mural of Yamal doing his trademark goal celebration, which involves forming the numbers three, zero and four with his fingers to represent the postcode of Rocafonda 304.

The most is known about his father. Mounir is only 32 – younger than Yamal’s team-mate Jesus Navas, 38, who played against France.

Mounir’s Instagram is flooded with pictures of Yamal playing for Spain and Barcelona as well as a litany of snaps of them together on their travels. All the big moments, he is there, living his dream vicariously through his son.The teenager hails from Rocafonda, a built-up residential barrio in Mataro, a town of about 120,000 situated 20 miles up the coast north-east of Barcelona

The teenager hails from Rocafonda, a built-up residential barrio in Mataro, a town of about 120,000 situated 20 miles up the coast north-east of Barcelona

The 16-year-old wears boots that bear the flags of Equatorial Guinea and Morocco in tribute to his parents

The 16-year-old wears boots that bear the flags of Equatorial Guinea and Morocco in tribute to his parents

His celebration, with the numbers three, zero, and four, refers to his family home's postcode

His celebration, with the numbers three, zero, and four, refers to his family home’s postcode

His father dubbed the photos of Yamal and Messi 'the beginning of two legends'

His father dubbed the photos of Yamal and Messi ‘the beginning of two legends’

Yamal was first spotted by Barcelona aged seven. One look was enough for the scout and before he knew it, the youngster was part of the iconic La Masia academy, which has reared some of the greatest players ever.

His posts are full of gratitude, with captions such as, ‘as a father and a person I thank  Lamine Yamal, thank you my son,’ and, ‘thank you Lamine for making me the happiest dad’. He even started a live stream from the stadium during the match against France, such was his enthusiasm and joy.

Lamine Yamal sends two-word message to Adrien Rabiot following wondergoal in Spain’s semi-final win

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As a baby, Yamal was washed by Barcelona hero Messi in club calendar photoshoot. The photo went viral recently when Yamal’s father shared it on Instagram, dubbing it the ‘beginning of two legends’.

In April last year, Yamal made his debut for Barcelona at 15 years and 290 days, becoming the youngest to play for the club for more than a century.

By now he has already played 54 times for the club and 13 times for his country, amassing more than 3,000 minutes on the pitch last season.

His career has brought some surreal full-circle moments. Once upon a time, in 2016, Yamal was a mascot holding Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos’ hand in the tunnel ahead of an El Clasico showdown.

Little did either know that Yamal, who had stared up at the defender with such admiration, would pressure him into scoring an own goal and inflict misery on him in a 1-0 win in 2023.

Spain boss Luis de la Fuente was so concerned about Morocco trying to bag him from under their noses that he handed Yamal his debut last September, when he became the youngest-ever player to represent La Roja at 16 years and 57 days.His father, Mounir, regularly posts of his pride and gratitude and follows his son everywhere

His father, Mounir, regularly posts of his pride and gratitude and follows his son everywhereHis sister was left in tears while his mum was seen hugging another family member after his goal against France
His sister was left in tears while his mum was seen hugging another family member after his goal against France

Yamal's father posted a photo of himself beaming with pride after the final whistle

Yamal’s father posted a photo of himself beaming with pride after the final whistle

‘Touched by a magic wand,’ was De La Fuente’s assessment after that match. Of course it was. Yamal had scored on his debut against Georgia, a side who eventually reached Euro 2024, and fans knew it was only the beginning of what could be an illustrious career.

The trappings of elite football have been quick to invade Yamal’s life and, for this Muslim prodigy, the challenge will be to keep his feet on the ground.

Daily Mail

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