Lamine Yamal’s Remarkable Performance: The 16-Year-Old Shines for Barcelona in Their 4-3 Win Away to Villareal
What were you doing when you were 16 years old? While Lamine Yamal is showcasing his talents in a masterclass performance against Villareal, some of us are probably in the comfort of our homes enjoying the new FIFA. Although Barcelona is no stranger to producing wonderkids, such as the likes of Lionel Messi, there are many instances they failed to live up to the hype, such as Bojan Krkić and Carles Aleñá. However, Lamine Yamal seems to have a different aura around him from those who failed, as he is the youngest player to ever crack into the first team and is dubbed the best prospect ever in the La Masia Academy since Messi.
Lamine Yamal MOTM Performance for Barcelona
Despite major scares and defensive frailties, Barcelona successfully turned around a 3-2 deficit against Villareal thanks to a MOTM performance by their next golden boy, Lamine Yamal. After breaking into the first team last season, Lamine Yamal patiently waited for his opportunity to showcase his immense talent, and he did.
Thanks to Raphinha’s suspension, Xavi included Lamine Yamal in his starting eleven, and the boy delivered in just 12 minutes as he recovered possession and produced a teasing ball into the box for Gavi to head home. The Catalan giants went 2-0 up in just 15 minutes before Villareal stormed back and turned the game on its head by the 50th minute, where they took the lead 3-2.
However, their lead enticed Barcelona to attack even more as they swarmed the opposition’s goal and created chance after chance with Lamine Yamal, notably hitting the post twice. Seeing the game slip slowly from their grasp, Barca brought in Ferran Torres, and he immediately got on the scoresheet before Robert Lewandowski capped off the comeback with his first goal of the season. After running himself tirelessly into the ground, Lamine Yamal withdrew to a standing ovation from the Villareal fans as he left the field with a MOTM-worthy performance.
Lamine Yamal’s Official Post-Match Statement: “I Am Not Scared, I Go Out and Play Football.”
After being awarded his MOTM award, Lamine Yamal gave his first professional interview with local broadcaster Movistar. While he was electric and fierce on the field, he was shy when giving his first interview, which is reasonable considering his age and lack of experience. In his interview, he explained why he is the polar opposite on and off the field.
“I try to take advantage of every opportunity. It is what Xavi asks us – do not be afraid when playing. Luckily, I am not scared. I go out and play football, which is what I’m good at.” Lamine Yamal also did not forget to reassure his family by stating: “My mother is a little scared when I’m a starter, but she supports me a lot.”
His manager, Xavi, also did not forget to praise the youngster in his post-match conference: “He doesn’t start by chance or on a whim. We see him as capable of making a difference, and the most crucial thing in a football player is that the decision-making is almost always right. With Lamine Yamal, his decision-making is almost always correct.”
Defensive Worries for Barcelona
Although Barcelona can celebrate the performances of Lamine Yamal and the other attacking players, their horrendous defensive display is something Xavi cannot overlook. After their record-breaking defensive display last season, where they conceded only nine goals in 30 games, their defensive performance today is a sight of concern for their hopes of defending the title.
To put things into perspective, the last time Barcelona conceded three goals in a match was in the memorable 4-3 win against CF Intercity in January this year, where Oriol Soldevila scored a hat trick against the Catalan giants. Furthermore, their defensive options have also lessened, with Iñigo Martínez and Ronald Araújo currently out injured. It will be interesting to see how Barcelona cope with their injuries and defensive frailties this season.
The New Generation Has Officially Arrived in LaLiga
After a decade of immersing ourselves in watching the likes of the old generation, like Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, it may be hard to adjust to watching LaLiga without them. However, with promising and emerging talents such as Vinicius Junior, Jude Bellingham, Pedri, Gavi and Lamine Yamal leading the line, it is safe to say that LaLiga will never be boring.
Furthermore, with superstars like Kylian Mbappé and Kieran Tierney potentially joining the league, LaLiga will once again lead the conversation of the best football league in the world with the best new generation of players.