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Rediff.com  » Sports » Spain's 16 YO silences doubters on way to Euros Final

Spain's 16 YO silences doubters on way to Euros Final

July 10, 2024 10:04 IST
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Lamine Yamal

IMAGE: Spain's Lamine Yamal in action with France's Adrien Rabiot. Photograph: Annegret Hilse/Reuters

Spain teenager Lamine Yamal on Tuesday sought to play down excitement over his wonder goal against France, but said reaching the European Championship final was a dream come true for him - and his mother too.

Sixteen-year-old Yamal eclipsed Brazilian great Pele to become the youngest player to score in a World Cup or Euros with a stunning 21st-minute strike that sailed into the top corner, helping Spain come from a goal down to beat France 2-1.

 

He was asked how he felt about scoring what could be the goal of Euro 2024.

"I'm really happy for the victory and for getting to the final. I don't know if it's the best goal of the tournament but it's the most special for me because getting to a final with the national team in the Euros is something super special for me," he told reporters.

With his creativity, pace and panache, Yamal has glittered as part of a Spain side who have won all their six matches at Euro 2024. They are now within reach of a record-breaking fourth Euros title.

Lamine Yamal

IMAGE: Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates scoring their first goal to become the youngest player to score in European Championship history. Photograph: Annegret Hilse/Reuters

His coach Luis de la Fuente described Yamal's goal as "a touch of genius".

Yamal was asked if he was aware he had become an icon of the tournament and said it did not matter what people thought of his individual contribution.

"I try not to look at that too much. I don't know if I'm the icon or not. That doesn't really help anything on the pitch. I need to help my team, that's what I try to do and that's what I tried to do today," he said.

"I was really happy after the final whistle. It's a dream come true, reaching a final with the senior national team."

He added: "Even my mum said it was her dream too. So I'm really happy that was my goal against France, my first goal against France, in a semi-final."

Lamine Yamal

IMAGE: Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates after the match. Photograph: Annegret Hilse/Reuters

Yamal's goal and defeat of France was the perfect reply to an earlier remark by French midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who had reportedly said the impressive Yamal would have to do much more against Les Bleus if he wanted to play in the final.

Yamal during the match ran to a television camera yelling "speak now, speak now".

He was asked who he was talking to, but declined to say.

"The person I'm talking about, this person will know who this person is," he said.

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Source: REUTERS
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