16-year-old Lamine Yamal leads Spain to Euro 2024 final

Hello, I’m Dan Gartland. I’m so ready for this New York heat wave to end.

In today’s SI:AM:

Spain’s 16-year-old phenomenon
Legislator on the Mound
Rory addresses Pinehurst breakdown

Almost exactly one year ago, on July 8, 2023, 15-year-old Lamine Yamal he scored a stunning goal from outside the penalty area for Spain against France at the U-17 European Championship. On Tuesday, a year and a day after that goal, Jamal scored an equally impressive goalalso against France — this time in the senior national team in the Euro semi-finals.

It was an audacious goal attempt for any player, let alone one as young as Yamal, playing in his first major international tournament. He received a pass well outside the penalty area and dribbled a few times before firing a curling shot from 25 yards out that flew over the outstretched hand of French goalkeeper Mike Maignan and hit the inside of the goalpost before slotting into the net. Yamal was breaking away to celebrate before the ball had even crossed the line.

At 16 years, 362 days old, Jamal became the youngest player ever to score a goal at a men’s European Championship, more than a year younger than Switzerland’s Johan Vonlanthen, who was 18 years, 141 days old when he scored against France in 2004. (Jamal played on the right wing in Tuesday’s semifinal, ahead of right-back Jesús Navas, who at 38 is the youngest player to score at a European Championship, more than a year younger than him. almost six years older than Jamal’s father.) He was also named Player of the Match, becoming The youngest player to ever win such an honour in a UEFA match.

Yamal’s goal came in the 21st minute to level Spain’s score with France after Randal Kolo Muani had scored the first goal of the match in the ninth minute. Spain took the lead in the 25th minute through Dani Olmo and never gave it up, gritting their teeth to hold on for a 2-1 win and advance to Sunday’s final.

“We were in a difficult moment, no one expected a goal so soon, I wanted to put the ball where it went and I’m very happy” Jamal said after the match“I try not to think too much, enjoy it and help the team, and if it goes like this, I will be happy and satisfied with the victory. I want to win, win and win. I will celebrate my birthday here in Germany with my team.”

Jamal won’t turn 17 until Saturday, but he’s already established himself as an integral part of the Spanish national team. He featured in all of the team’s Euro matches except for one, the group stage match against Albania, when Spain rested several starters. He now has a goal and three assists in Spain’s six matches at the tournament. He led the team with seven attempts in the round of 16 match against Georgia.

Jamal’s story is incredible. It’s one thing to be called up to the senior national team at the age of 16, but it’s quite another to become a key player in one of the best national teams in the world while still wearing braces. It’s a story that seems destined by the football gods – and maybe it was. How else can you explain it? photos that in 2007 Yamal was bathed as a baby by Lionel Messi himself?

Jamal is following in Messi’s footsteps as a teenage phenomenon at Barcelona. He made his professional debut in April 2023 with an eight-minute cameo late in a crushing 4-0 defeat. He has appeared in all but one of Barcelona’s matches this season, making 22 appearances in 37 appearances. It would be foolish to suggest he is poised for a career similar to Messi’s, but his Euro performance showed he is ready to shed his wunderkind label and join the ranks of the best in the world – regardless of age.

Skenes began his MLB career with a 2.12 ERA in 10 starts. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

…things I saw yesterday:

5. Rodrigo DePaula overreaction to an opponent kicking the ball at him.
4. Reds rookie Rece Hinds’ second home run in as many matches in his career.
3. Jaylen Wells Buzzer for the Grizzlies in the Summer League.
2. Guardians Speaker Matt Underwood joke about Javier Báez getting hit by the ball.
1. Guillermo Rosario prospect for Phillies absurd bare-handed grab behind the plate.