At just 15 years, 9 months, and 16 days old, Yamal made his debut in a match against Real Betis, replacing Gavi in the 86th minute during Barcelona’s 4-0 victory. According to Barcelona’s website, only three younger players have ever represented the club. Although the match was already decided when Yamal came on, he almost scored the fifth goal of the night, thwarted only by an excellent save from the opposing goalkeeper.
Raphinha, a Barcelona forward, commented that Yamal’s appearance in front of the fans was incredible, and Xavi, the team’s manager, praised the young player’s confidence, talent, and maturity, stating that he is ready to make his mark on the club and the sport as a whole. The victory takes Barcelona 11 points clear at the top of La Liga with just six games remaining.
Lamine Yamal was born in Mataró, Spain to a Moroccan father and an Equatorial Guinean mother. He spent most of his youth in Barcelona. Yamal progressed through the youth ranks of La Masia and quickly became recognized as one of the academy’s best prospects. In the 2022-23 season, he was added to the Juvenil A team, even though he was still below their age grade.
In early September 2022, Xavi, the Barcelona coach, selected Yamal and other young players to train with the first team, and he made a strong impression on the coach despite not having signed his first professional contract.
Yamal has represented Spain at the youth international level. In 2021, he played four games and scored one goal for Spain under-16s. In 2022, he also played with the Spanish under-15s.