Spain star Yamal can be ‘great of sport’ – De la Fuente

Spain prodigy Lamine Yamal could be “a great of sport”, La Roja head coach Luis de la Fuente has said after the 16-year-old scored a sensational goal against France to help his country reach the final of Uefa Euro 2024.

Yamal smashed Pele’s record as the youngest scorer at a major tournament with the equaliser at Munich’s Allianz Arena, curling in from well outside the area to draw Spain level in the 21st minute.

Dani Olmo scored the winner four minutes later but Yamal’s two assists and goal at his first Euro took the headlines for the Player of the Match.

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Lamal: Spain ‘must help’ midfielder

“He looks like a much more experienced player,” said De la Fuente. “I’m happy he’s in our team and I hope we can enjoy him for years to come.

“Lamine is doing things which give hints that he might be a great of sport but we need to remain prudent. We have to help him by keeping his feet on the ground and developing him in the best way.”

Randal Kolo Muani had given France an eighth-minute lead before Yamal equalised and Dani Olmo fired the winner four minutes later.

Yamal will turn 17 on Saturday, a day before Spain bid to record a seventh win at Euro 2024 against England or the Netherlands in the final at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

Yamal trophies

The Barcelona midfielder is a game away from winning the second major trophy of his career, having become a Liga champion with Barca in 2022/23.

De la Fuente said managing Yamal well would involve “calm and tranquillity”. “In Ancient Rome, when they talked about Caesar they would say: ‘Remember he’s mortal!’” the 63-year-old added.

Yamal called reaching the final “the dream come true”, adding that the moment when his first Euro goal went in was “pure elation”.

“I’m thrilled that we are in the final but we still haven’t done the most important thing, which is win this,” he said. “There were difficult moments for us out there.

“None of us expected to concede that early. When you reach the final, you have to play against the very best. We’ll wait and see who we get.”

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