Barcelona wonderkid becomes club's youngest senior player in a CENTURY
Barcelona wonderkid Lamine Yamal, 15, becomes the club’s youngest player to make his debut this century… as the highly-rated forward enjoys an 11-minute cameo in their 4-0 win over Real Betis
- The 15-year-old was sent on for an 11-minute cameo by manager Xavi
- Table-topping Barca need just three more wins to claim the LaLiga title
- Barcelona 4-0 Real Betis: Xavi’s side overturn 10-man Betis at the Camp Nou
Barcelona wonderkid Lamine Yamal made history when he made an 11-minute cameo against Real Betis during the home side’s thumping of the Andalusian club at the Camp Nou.
The 15-year-old’s appearance made him the youngest player to make his debut in Barca’s colours for over a century.
Yamal – a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy – was first named to the matchday squad in Xavi’s side’s tie against Atletico Madrid last weekend, but had to wait until his second inclusion to see playing minutes.
His manager hailed the player as a ‘special’ talent after the final whistle, with Xavi singling him out for praise.
‘I told him to go and try things, and he did,’ Xavi began.
In his 11-minute cameo on Saturday Lamine Yamal became Barcelona’s youngest player to debut for the club in a century
His manager Xavi has been encouraging his inclusion in the first-team matchday squad
‘He is special. He could have scored, and made an assist.
‘He is very self confident, he has shown what he can do. He has no fear and he is very talented.
‘He plays beyond his 15 years and he is ready to play in the first team.’
Yamal’s historic debut is topped only by that of Armand Martinez Sagi, who began playing for Barcelona at the age of 14, in 1920.
Whilst Yamal failed to get on the scoresheet in the Catalan club’s casual 4-0 rout of a Betis side reduced to 10 men, stirrings about the Camp Nou suggest he is destined for greatness.
The talented teenager has been hailed as the finest academy product since one Lionel Messi and is already represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes.
Additionally, the left-footed centre-forward has already made appearances for Spain’s under-15 and under-19 sides.
Ansu Fati contributed to Barcelona’s fourth on Saturday evening but his career could serve as a somewhat cautionary tale for fellow La Masia graduate Yamal
But the burden on talented youngsters in Catalonia can be difficult to shoulder.
La Masia product Ansu Fati was handed Messi’s hallowed No 10 shirt after the World Cup winner’s tearful exit in 2021 at the age of just 18.
Whilst Fati’s spell in the senior side started with promise, he has faltered this season and found himself spending prolonged spells on the bench.
Fati’s name has been mentioned among a number of Barcelona players that may be up for sale in the summer as the club attempts to bolster its financial prospects and raise funds to buy new players, likely including Messi.
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