Spain national team: Luis de la Fuente called up Barcelona’s 16-year-old Lamine Yamal to senior squad

Lamine Yamal before the Uefa European Under-17 Championship 2023 Quarter-final match between Spain and Republic of Ireland in Budapest, Hungary.
Lamine Yamal can play as a centre forward, an attacking midfielder, or a right winger.

Sixteen-year-old Lamine Yamal has become the youngest player ever to be called up to the Spain senior squad.

The Barcelona teenager has been named in Luis de la Fuente's group for Spain's Euro 2024 qualifiers against Georgia and Cyprus.

"He was a stalwart of our youth teams and is a footballer with exceptional ability," De la Fuente said.

Yamal represented Spain at the 2023 Under-17 Euros, becoming tournament joint top scorer with four goals.

Last April he became the youngest player to appear for Barca's senior team at 15 years, nine months, and 16 days old. This season he has played in all three of his side's La Liga matches so far, starting two of them, and was named man of the match in the champions' 4-3 win against Villarreal.

With a Moroccan father, Yamal was eligible to play for the Atlas Lions, but De la Fuente believes that he will be a key player for La Roja in years to come.

"We met him in Barcelona. He is different," the national team coach explained.

"We look at the ability of the player, not the age. He is ready to compete at the highest level. He is a very important asset for the future."

De la Fuente, 62, replaced previous Spain manager Luis Enrique in December of last year after a last-16 exit of the 2023 Fifa World Cup.

On Friday he has asked for "forgiveness" after applauding the speech in which Luis Rubiales, president of Spain's football federation, said he would not resign for kissing player Jenni Hermoso.

Luis de la Fuente said it was an "inexcusable human error" but added he would not step down from his job.

Should Yamal make an appearance during either of Spain's matches against Georgia or Cyprus, he will become the youngest-ever player to represent Spain, a record currently held by his club team-mate Gavi, who made his debut in Spain's Uefa Nations League semi-final win against Italy at 17 years and 62 days old.

Spain are currently fourth in their Euro 2024 qualifying group after a 3-0 win against Norway and a 2-0 loss away at Scotland.