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16-Year-Old Lamine Yamal to make historic Champions League debut for Barcelona

21. February 2024
Lamine Yamal Nasraoui Ebana (foto: Getty Images)
In a move that signals both ambition and trust in youth, Barcelona's coach Xavi Hernandez is set to make a bold statement in the Champions League knockout stages.

Lamine Yamal, a mere 16 years old, is poised to become the youngest player ever to feature in this elite phase of the competition.   

Yamal, whose full name is Lamine Yamal Nasraoui Ebana, has already turned heads in the football world with his performances for Barcelona's senior team. Accumulating 35 official appearances, he has contributed five goals and seven assists, numbers that are impressive for any player, let alone one so young.   

Tonight, as Barcelona faces the Italian powerhouse Napoli, Yamal isn't just participating; he's starting. This decision marks him as the youngest ever to play in the Champions League knockout stages at just 16 years and 223 days old.   

The Spanish national team has also recognized Yamal's talent, awarding him two caps despite his youth. Should he score tonight, he will shatter two more records: becoming the youngest goal scorer in both the Champions League and its knockout stages.   

Interestingly, the current record holders in these categories are also products of Barcelona's famed La Masia academy. Ansu Fati holds the record for the youngest scorer in the Champions League, having scored against Inter Milan in 2019 at 17 years and 40 days old. In the knockout stages, the record is held by Bojan Krkić Perez, who scored against Schalke in 2008 at 17 years and 217 days old.   

Yamal's potential record-breaking night is a beacon of hope in an otherwise challenging season for Barcelona. His rise is a testament to the club's enduring commitment to nurturing young talent, a philosophy that has defined Barcelona for generations.   

16 - Lamine Yamal will tonight become the youngest ever player to appear in a knockout stage game in the UEFA Champions League (16y 223d v Napoli). Phenom.
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