Lamine Yamal makes history as youngest player to appear at a European Championship

What were you doing at 16 years old?

Spain’s Lamine Yamal made history on Saturday by becoming the youngest player to appear at a men’s European Championship when he took to the field against Croatia at Euro 2024.

At 16 years and 338 days old, Yamal surpassed the previous record set by Poland’s Kacper Kozłowski, who was 17 years and 246 days old when he played against Spain at Euro 2020.

Yamal marked his record-breaking appearance against Croatia with an assist in the first half, crossing the ball into the box for Dani Carvajal to poke home en route to a crucial 3-0 Group B win.

Yamal already holds the records for being the youngest player to feature for Barcelona and the youngest player to start a match in La Liga in the 21st century.

In his first season in Barça’s senior team, Yamal made 37 appearances in La Liga and 10 in the Champions League, finishing the campaign with seven goals and 10 assists in all competitions.

Widely considered one of football’s most promising young players, both the Blaugrana and Spain have high hopes that the teenager can help lead them to trophies in the near future.

It’s certainly a lot of pressure to put on such slight shoulders, but Yamal has already proven this season, notably with some standout performances in the Champions League, that he has no fear of the biggest stage.

“I think he’s so mature and can already make the difference for us,” former Barça head coach Xavi recently told reporters of Yamal. “We have to take care of him, but I think he’s ready and I’m not afraid to trust youth.”

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