July 17, 2024

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Spain’s Lamine Yamal becomes youngest scorer in European Championship history

Spain’s Lamine Yamal becomes youngest scorer in European Championship history

Lamine Yamal became the youngest player ever to score at the men’s European Championship on Tuesday when he netted against France in their 2-1 semi-final win over the 2018 World Cup champions.

The 16-year-old scored in the 21st minute with a stunning shot that went past France goalkeeper Mike Maignan and into the top left corner of the post and was named man of the match after the final whistle.

Yamal is 16 years and 362 days old. The previous youngest goalscorer was Switzerland’s Johan Vonlanthen (18 years and 141 days), also against France, at Euro 2004.

“I am very happy to have qualified for the final. Now the most important thing is to win the match. We were in a difficult moment, and we were not expected to score a goal so quickly. I wanted to score the goal from where it came, and I am very happy. I try not to think too much, enjoy it and help the team and if things go this way, I am happy and satisfied with the victory,” Yamal said after the match.

“I want to win, win, win. I will celebrate my birthday here in Germany with my team.”

It is the second major record set by the Barcelona teenager, who already became the youngest player ever to play at a European Championship at the age of 16 years and 338 days when he took to the pitch during Spain’s Group B win over Croatia.

Yamal broke the record held by Polish midfielder Kasper Kozlowski, who was 17 years and 246 days old when he came off the bench at Euro 2020 (held in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic) against Spain.

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“He keeps breaking records,” Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said of Yamal after the Croatia game. “He’s growing, maturing and getting better every day.”

“He is on his way to becoming a great player, but he is very young and we have to be patient with him.”

The score was 2-1 at half-time. Yamal’s goal cancelled out Randal Kolo Muani’s opener for France.

French defender Jules Kounde turned the ball into his own net in the fourth minute after Yamal’s goal to give Spain the lead before half-time and Luis de la Fuente’s side remained goalless in the second half to advance to the final against England or the Netherlands.