Watch: 16-year-old Lamine Yamal sends Pele's record tumbling with Euro 2024 semi-final wonder goal | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Watch: 16-year-old Lamine Yamal sends Pele's record tumbling with Euro 2024 semi-final wonder goal

Jul 10, 2024 09:28 AM IST

Lamine Yamal's spectacular equaliser led the way as Spain reversed a 1-0 deficit against France within minutes in the first half.

Almost everything Spain's wunderkind Lamine Yamal has done in the 2024 European Championship has broken some record or the other. Just appearing in his first match of the tournament against Croatia led to Yamal becoming the youngest-ever player to play at the Euros, aged 16 years and 338 days. On that same day, he became the youngest-ever player to provide an assist at the Euros. A goal would've made him the youngest-ever goalscorer in the tournament but Yamal seemed to have saved that for a truly spectacular moment.

Lamine Yamal celebrates scoring his team's first goal in the Euro 2024 semi-final against France. (AFP)
Lamine Yamal celebrates scoring his team's first goal in the Euro 2024 semi-final against France. (AFP)

That moment arrived on Tuesday in Spain's semi-final against France. France had taken the lead through Randal Kolo Muani's eighth minute, which came thanks to a cross of pinpoint precision from captain Kylian Mbappe. Spain were on the backfoot until Yamal's piece of magic.

He received the ball well outside the box after William Saliba intercepted an attempted pass from Dani Olmo. Yamal had Adrien Rabiot, who had said that the teenager will need to do more than what he has done thus far to get past France before the match, right in front of him with Saliba behind the latter. The Spanish No.19 first went to his left, Rabiot and Saliba followed him, then he suddenly weaved left and the two French players tried to keep up. But by the time they got their bodies in position, Yamal had let go of a shot that curled past French goalkeeper Mike Maignan and settled in the goal he was guarding.

Here is a video of the goal:

Toppling Pele's record

With the goal, Yamal broke a record previous held by Pele since 1958, nearly half a century before the former was born. Yamal is now the youngest player to score a goal at a major international competition. Incidentally, Yamal had scored a somewhat similar goal against France in the semi-final of the Under-17 Euros last year.

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente had special praise for Yamal, whose goal he described as "a touch of genius".

"We all know who he is. We need to take care of him," he said. "I want him to work with the same humility, keep his feet on the ground in order to keep improving, learning with the same kind of attitude and that professionalism, that maturity that he shows on the pitch. He looks like a much more experienced player to be honest but fundamentally I celebrate that he's in our team, that he's Spanish and that we count on him and I hope we can enjoy him for years to come," he said.

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