“I don’t know if I’m the icon or not,” admits Yamal as wondergoal hands Spain ticket to EURO2024 final

Lamine Yamal is a generational talent. If his performances at EURO2024 were all we had to go by, it perhaps wouldn’t be far-fetched to suggest that he could one day reach the levels of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Yet in Munich on Tuesday, just days before he turns 17, Yamal went one step further. He broke not just one of Pelé’s records, but two – becoming the youngest player to start in the semifinal of a major international tournament, and then the youngest goalscorer.

Just months after completing his secondary school exams, Yamal has left an indelible mark on the sport. His name sits next to two of football’s greatest records, both previously held by the Brazilian icon since 1958 – some 66 years ago.

(Photo by Alex Caparros – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

It won’t get to his head though, he assured reporters in his post-match press conference after being selected as the Player of the Match. “I try not to look at it too much,” he admitted.

“I don’t know if I’m the icon or not – that doesn’t really help anything on the pitch.”

“I’m really happy for the victory and getting to the final. I don’t know if it’s the best goal of the tournament,” he remarked after a journalist suggested it was, “but it’s the most special for me – getting to the final with the national team.”

Yamal was merely a toddler when Spain last reached the EUROs final, and while he admitted that he’d “never thought about that,” he revealed that playing for the Henri Delauney Cup on Sunday will be “a dream come true.”

As for Spain’s opponents, the 16-year-old couldn’t care less. “I don’t mind – it’s going to be a very difficult game, they’re very equal games so we’ll wait for whoever our rival is,” he concluded.


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