Spain teen Lamine Yamal breaks record on debut

Barcelona forward Lamine Yamal became the youngest player and youngest goalscorer for Spain’s men’s senior team after finding the net on his debut in Friday’s 7-1 European Championship qualifying win against Georgia.

At 16 years and 57 days old, he takes the record as Spain’s youngest player from Barcelona teammate Gavi, who was 17 years and 62 days old when he debuted for La Roja in 2021.

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Angel Zubieta (17 years and 284 days), Ansu Fati (17 years and 208 days) and Bojan Krkic (18 years and 13 days) complete the top five.

After coming on as a substitute in the 44th minute in Georgia, Yamal wasted little time in adding another record to his collection when finding the net in the 74th minute for Spain’s seventh and final goal.

Not only did Yamal become Spain’s youngest scorer, but he is also now the youngest player to score in Euro qualifying, taking the record from Wales legend Gareth Bale (17 years and 83 days).

“I am really happy to make my debut and to score,” he told Teledeportes. “I am living a dream. I have to thank my teammates and the coach for the confidence placed in me, as well as everyone else who has helped me along the way.”

Yamal is also eligible to play for Morocco and Equatorial Guinea through his parents, but he has always represented Spain, the country of his birth, at youth level.

He made the final decision to play for the country’s senior side at the end of August following a meeting in Barcelona with delegates from the Royal Spanish Football Federation [RFEF].

“You can see I am happy and satisfied with the decision. I hope to have a long career with Spain and that we win many things together,” Yamal said after Friday’s debut.

“Already on the television he looked great, but working with him he seems even better,” Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said prior to Friday’s game against Georgia.

“He is a very important player for us now and I hope that will continue to be the case for many years. We’re going to give him time, he’s very young, but he’s going to contribute a lot.”

It has been a remarkable year for the teenager, who became the youngest player to feature in LaLiga for Barça when he made his debut for the club in April.

He was still just 15 when he came off the bench against Real Betis. A week later, he also became the youngest player to ever play for the club’s B team.

The U17 European Championships followed, where he scored four goals before Spain were eliminated by France at the semifinal stage.

Barça coach Xavi Hernandez then called him up for the club’s preseason tour of the United States and his performances since have helped him cement his place in the first team squad.

He came off the bench in the first game of the season away at Getafe and has started Barça’s last three matches, earning the player of the match award after setting up two goals in the 4-3 win at Villarreal last month.

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