Xavi hails Yamine Lamal as next Lionel Messi after record-breaking Barcelona debut: “He can mark an era at this club”

Barcelona coach Xavi compared youngster Lamine Yamal to seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi after the 15-year-old became the club’s youngest player ever.

Lamine Yamal became the club’s youngest player in La Liga history on Saturday night, coming off the bench to contribute to a 4-0 victory over Real Betis at Camp Nou.

Yamal, who was just 15 years old at the time, surpassed Ansu Fati’s record by replacing Gavi with just over five minutes remaining in the game, and he looked impressive throughout his brief appearance.

Lamine Yamal has been likened to Barcelona great Lionel Messi

Barcelona beat Real Betis 4-0 at the Camp Nou. Goals from Andreas Christensen, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, and an own goal cruised the Catalans to another victory.

Why did Xavi compare Lamine Yamal to Lionel Messi?

Xavi’s choice of promoting Yamal to first team action at such an early age has undoubtedly raised doubts about how excellent the young Spaniard may turn out to be, and his post-match comments indicate that he is quite optimistic about Yamal’s future.

At the post game conference, Xavi talked about the youngster and his abilities. According to Fabrizio Romano, he said,

“I told him to try things and he did. At 15 years old, just imagine it… He is special and he could have even scored tonight, but Rui Silva saved.”

“He played with confidence and he showed what he is about. He has no fear and bags of talent. Some of his passes in the final third were really good.”

When questioned if Yamal might be compared to Fati and even the greatest Barcelona player Lionel Messi himself, Xavi didn’t back down, suggesting the 15-year-old may herald in a new era at the club.

“He’s a similar player to Lionel Messi because he has that innate talent in the final third which is difficult to find.”

“Lamine doesn’t seem like a 15-year-old, he’s very mature. He’s ready [to play] and he is training well. He can mark an era at this club as part of this team.”

Who is Lamine Yamal?

Yamal was born in Spain. His father is Moroccan and his mother is of Equatorial Guinean origin. He is therefore eligible to represent all three countries at the international level. He is now a member of the Spain squad, having previously played at the Under-19 level.

Yamal, a left-footed right-winger by trade, used to play as a centre striker before moving out wide due to his amazing dribbling abilities. That is the characteristic that has most impressed Barcelona’s coaches and scouts, leading to the aforementioned Lionel Messi comparisons.


Barcelona currently leads second-placed Clasico rivals Real Madrid by 11 points at the top of the La Liga table. They are now just a few victories away from winning a domestic title. The Blaugrana could be league champions again for the first time since 2018-19. Barcelona will continue their title charge when they face Osasuna on Tuesday.


Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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