Barcelona icon hails 16-year-old prodigy who netted for Spain in Euros qualifier
Lamine Yamal has been the sensation of the season in Spain, and he's taken his domestic form onto the international stage – scoring against Cyprus over the international break.
Yamal opened the scoring for the Spaniards during the week as he lined up with the senior side for the third time. Amazingly, Yamal lined up alongside Jesus Navas – 21 years his senior.
And those standout performances have caught the eye of Barcelona icon David Villa – who has tipped him for the very top. Villa said: "His best qualities? Well, what qualities doesn’t he have?
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"He’s a 16-year-old kid who’s not only been able to play in La Liga, but for FC Barcelona and at such a high level against top opposition. We’re talking about someone who is clearly a special talent. He’s different to other players, he’s not a clone.
"He’s a special talent. It’s obvious, just for looking at how he’s burst onto the scene at such a young age. We need to take care of him, he’s still just 16-years-old. But he’s a genuinely unique talent who’s here to stay, and we’ll enjoy him for many years to come.”
What do you think of Lamine Yamal playing for Barcelona at 16-years-old? Let us know in the comments section
In September, he became Spain's youngest-ever player and goalscorer in a 7-1 qualifying win against Georgia.
And, on Thursday, he was up to his usual tricks as he danced around the Cypriot goalkeeper to find the net. Mikel Oyarzabal and Joselu also put their names on the scoresheet as Spain went two points clear of Scotland in Group A.
Villa isn't the only Barca legend enamoured with the youngster, and his boss Xavi said: "He is extraordinary. He is surprising us all and continuing to grow. The growth he showed today was impressive. He was given the start because we believe he is capable of making a difference.
"He is very humble, he works hard and he likes football. He is smart, and he makes good decisions. Lamine Yamal’s decision making is almost always correct and right.
"That’s surprising for someone who just turned 16 years old. I hope he will be here for many years at Barça because I think he is a player who can define an era, but let's take it easy.”
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