Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez lavished praise on 15-year-old Lamine Yamal after handing the highly-rated teenage his debut in a 4-0 La Liga win over Real Betis on Saturday, April 29 at the Camp Nou.
Yamal came on as a substitute in the latter stages of the win, replacing midfielder Gavi, to become the youngest ever player to debut for the Catalan giants at the age of 15 years and nine months.
Xavi was asked about Yamal after the win, which restores Barcelona’s 11-point lead at the top of the table in Spain, and even compared him to club legend Lionel Messi, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
“He is similar to Messi and Ansu with innate talent. He is a person who doesn’t look like he is 15 years old. He is more mature than his age,” he said. “He is a special player, he has self-confidence, he can be important, you realize it in training. He can mark an era.”
Xavi has called up Yamal to the first team after seeing the youngster impress on the training ground. The Barcelona manager has also previously revealed he has a plan for the forward and expects him to have a big future at the Camp Nou.
Xavi Talks Lamine Yamal Advice
The Barcelona boss also revealed what he told Yamal before he took to the pitch for the first time with the first team.
“I’ve told him to try things. At 15 years old, he is a talent and a special player. He has shown what he is. He is not afraid, he has been able to score, he has assisted and when you see him in training you see that he can be very big and important from now to the future,” he added. “He has a talent from three quarters up that is difficult to find in world football. He associates well and is smart.”
Yamal saw a shot saved by Betis goalkeeper Rui Silva with minutes of coming. He followed that up with a cute chipped ball to Ousmane Dembele which resulted in a goalscoring chance, but the Frenchman could not convert the opportunity.
Raphinha Talks Lamine Yamal
Barcelona forward Raphinha also spoke about Yamal after scoring and assisting in the victory over Betis. The Brazilian admitted that when he was 15 he was still playing for his local team, as reported by Marca.
Yamal is one of Barca’s brightest young talents and has already beaten a club record previously held by Fati. Barcelona still have six games left to play this season, and supporters will be hoping for more glimpses of the talented teen before the end of the campaign.
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