Who is Lamine Yamal? Barcelona’s prodigy drawing comparisons with Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta

Barcelona’s youth academy at La Masia is famed for producing some of the greatest footballers of all time, like Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, and they have unearthed another precocious talent in Lamine Yamal…

Yamal is still only 16 years old, but he is already the youngest player ever to play for Barcelona, having made his debut in the Blaugrana’s 4-0 win over Real Betis last season.

The winger is now a key part of Xavi’s first-team squad and rumours suggest he will be called up to Spain’s senior team during the September international break, similar to how Pedri and Gavi were called up at a very early age.

Barca are enduring financial dire straits at the moment, but with players like Yamal coming through the youth academy, they can look forward to the future.

READ: How Barcelona want to line up for 2023/24 – including Lionel Messi

What position does Yamal play in?

Yamal is a left-footed right winger, primarily, but has thus far shown his ability to play throughout the final third, with his academy coaches of the opinion that he will end up as a string-pulling No.10.

How good is Yamal?

Whilst it is true that for every Messi at La Masia there has been a Bojan Krkic, Yamal has nonetheless captured the attention of everyone at the club, up to and including Xavi.

Born to an Equatorial Guinean mother and Moroccan father, it is no accident that Spain have capped him up to under-19 level and are looking at bedding him in with the senior set-up.

“As a child he reminded me of Rivaldo, always playing with his head up, dribbling, protecting the ball,” Barca TV journalist Jaume Marcet told Mundo Deportivo. “Now he also stands out for his ‘impossible’ passes.”

In just his fourth Barcelona appearances, Yamal provided an assist against Villarreal and earned the Man of the Match award after a stellar performance.

He has naturally drawn comparisons to Lionel Messi thanks to his breakout into senior football, and Yamal looks like the next big thing to come from La Masia.

What clubs are interested in Yamal?

Yamal has not yet made many suitors, most likely due to the fact Barca simply wouldn’t sell, but his contract situation could tempt some of Europe’s elite teams if it isn’t resolved soon.

When does Yamal’s contract expire?

Yamal’s current contract at Barcelona runs until 30 June 2024.

How old is Yamal?

Born on 13 June 2007, Yamal is still just 16 years old at the time of writing.

What is Yamal’s Instagram?

Yamal’s Instagram can be found under the handle @lamineyamal. He has 2.7m followers as of August 2023 – a number that has grown by over 2m since April.

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