Barca star Lamine Yamal could make history as youngest ever player in El Clasico

By Sports Desk October 27, 2023

Teenager Lamine Yamal could become the youngest man ever to play in Spain’s El Clasico on Saturday.

Twelve months ago, the 16-year-old striker was turning out for Barcelona Under-19s, but he now has 13 senior appearances under his belt and has Real Madrid firmly in his sights.

Yamal told Barca’s official website: “Everything I do, being so young, is a record almost. People tell me but the most important thing for me is for the team to win and that I enjoy it.”

The youngster warmed up for a potential showdown with Madrid at the Estadi Olimpic by playing the full 90 minutes in Wednesday night’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

He was joined in the starting line-up by 20-year-old midfielder Fermin Lopez, who was playing his football on loan at third-tier Linares last season, but has emerged as a genuine option for boss Xavi since his return.

Lopez scored what proved to be the winning goal in Wednesday night’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Shakhtar, and is hoping for a chance to make his mark against his club’s arch-rivals.

Asked about his rise since last year, he said: “It was unthinkable at that time, but I did learn a lot. Now, I am dreaming about winning a Clasico.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid)

 

“We won in pre-season, but this time is a competitive game and it will be a dream to win it.”

Hernandez’s side head into the game sitting in third place in the LaLiga table and unbeaten in all competitions so far this season, a return which head left them just a point adrift of leaders Real.

They have been hit by injuries in recent weeks and although vastly experienced frontman Robert Lewandowski could return after being left out in midweek, Barca still have doubts over Frenkie de Jong and Raphinha, while Pedri is still out.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men, who won 2-1 at Braga on Tuesday to maintain – like Barca – a perfect start to their Champions League campaign, have been indebted in recent weeks to the form of summer signing Jude Bellingham.

The England international, who is being touted in certain quarters as the best player in the world as a result of his blistering run of form, has scored 11 goals in 12 appearances to help keep his team, whose 3-1 derby defeat at Atletico Madrid last month is their only reverse to date, on the right track.

Bellingham, 20, came off in Portugal with an adductor strain after scoring, but is expected to be fit to take his place in the starting line-up.

He told TVE in Spanish: “I’ll be at the Clasico.”

Asked about the fans hailing his dazzling form with choruses of ‘Hey Jude’, he added: “I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

“On the pitch after I’ve scored a goal or made a tackle or a piece of skill and I start to hear it slowly and then louder and louder, it’s something that I’m really proud of.

“I’m so grateful for the fans for how they’ve treated me coming into the club.

“So far it’s been a good start, but I look to continue to repay them for how they’ve welcomed me.”

Related items

  • Los Angeles FC 6-2 San Jose Earthquakes: Cherundolo's side move to Western Conference summit Los Angeles FC 6-2 San Jose Earthquakes: Cherundolo's side move to Western Conference summit

    Los Angeles FC moved to the Western Conference summit with a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.at BMO Stadium.

    Mateusz Bogusz struck twice, while Denis Bouanga, Kei Kamara, Ryan Hollingshead and Tomas Angel were also on target as LAFC returned to winning ways in MLS.

    Steve Cherundolo's side saw their eight-match winning streak end at Austin in midweek, but they took the lead through Bogusz after a quarter of an hour.

    Bouanga doubled the lead with his 13th goal of the season, while Kamara headed in a Bogusz cross before Hollingshead's deflected strike made it 4-0 before half-time.

    Rodrigues replied for bottom side San Jose in first-half stoppage time, before Benjamin Kikanovic reduced the arrears in the 57th minute.

    However, LAFC had the final word with Angel striking three minutes from time to send them top of the Western Conference - ahead of Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy by virtue of winning one more game.

    Data Debrief: Kamara passes Donovan

    Kamara's header gave him his 146th regular-season goal in MLS, moving him past Landon Donovan and into second place on the all-time list.

    The 39-year-old is now 25 goals behind Chris Wondolowski's record, while LAFC extended their franchise-record unbeaten streak to 10 matches.

  • Alvarez injury sours Mexico's 1-0 win over Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in Copa America opener Alvarez injury sours Mexico's 1-0 win over Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in Copa America opener

    Mexico kickstarted their Copa America campaign with a 1-0 victory over Jamaica at the NRG Stadium, but were left sweating on the fitness of captain Edson Alvarez. 

    The West Ham midfielder, who made his 80th appearance for his nation in Texas, was forced off after 30 minutes and was seen visibly upset as he left the pitch. 

    Alvarez's club team-mate Michail Antonio thought he had scored Jamaica's first-ever Copa America goal five minutes into the second half, only to see his header ruled out by VAR. 

    However, Mexico recovered from that earlier scare, forcing a string of saves from Jahmali Waite before Gerardo Arteaga finally broke the deadlock with a fine finish. 

    The result moved El Tricolor level on three points with Venezuela, who beat Ecuador 2-1 in the other Group B clash earlier in the day, but attention quickly turned to the fitness of their captain at full-time. 

    “We’re going to wait a couple of days to do some testing on him and to know well what he’s got going on,” head coach Jaime Lozano said after the match.

    “He’s extremely important. He’s a leader, he understands the game well. He’s important on the pitch and in the locker room as well.

    “You listen to him talk, he has a way with words and when he speaks you listen. This was a tough blow for all of us.”

    Defender Cesar Montes told reporters: "It was extremely important to start on the right foot, always focussed, together, and (now) the only bad news is that our team-mate suffered an injury that we hope is not serious and can return with us.

    "(But) these situations are not simple, the doctor will have to evaluate to see if he can continue with us (for the rest of the tournament). For the group he is the leader, a very important piece and it will be good to know his diagnosis in view of what is coming."

    Jamaica play Ecuador in Las Vegas on Wednesday, while Mexico face Venezuela in California next Thursday. 
     

  • Euro 2024 social round-up: Scotland take in the views, Pepe hits top speed Euro 2024 social round-up: Scotland take in the views, Pepe hits top speed

    Saturday's Euro 2024 action was headlined by some of the game's biggest stars, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Kevin De Bruyne grabbing the attention.

    Ronaldo recorded his record-breaking seventh Euros assist – and was inundated with requests for photos from pitch invaders – as Portugal clinched top spot in Group F with a 3-0 win over Turkiye.

    De Bruyne then joined Youri Tielemans on the scoresheet as Belgium beat Romania 2-0, teeing up a tense finale in Group E.

    Georgia and Czechia, meanwhile, played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in Hamburg, leaving both teams needing a victory on the final matchday to have any chance of advancing.

    But what else was going on around Euro 2024? Here, we run through the best social media posts of the day.

    Eze and Konsa pool together

    England's social media accounts have been a trove of entertaining content throughout this tournament, and on Saturday's edition of their Lions' Den livestream, Eberechi Eze and Ezri Konsa took centre-stage.

    Eze and Konsa took on the 'what a clearance' challenge, looking to clear a pool table as quickly as possible as a pairing.

    A respectable score put them third on the leaderboard, but they were unable to match the top two pairings – Declan Rice and Ivan Toney, and Jarrod Bowen and Marc Guehi.

    Kante shows off

    France's goalless draw with the Netherlands on Friday may not have been a game for the neutrals, but we were at least treated to another tireless display from N'Golo Kane.

    Even at the age of 33 and after a season in the Saudi Pro League, Kante remains one of the game's top box-to-box midfielders, covering every blade of grass against the Oranje.

    On Saturday, France's official X account proved once and for all that a year out of the European game has not affected Kante's physique… 

    It's fair to say he remains in tip-top condition.

    Cologne turns yellow for Romania

    A sizeable contingent of Romanian fans made their opening game at Euro 2024 a real spectacle, forming a wall of yellow in Munich as they crushed Ukraine 3-0.

    On Saturday, they headed to Cologne for their second match against Belgium, which ended in defeat despite a spirited performance.

    The highlight of the day for many supporters will surely have been the pre-match scenes, as they turned the historic city centre yellow.

    Ronaldo's pride as Portugal progress

    Portugal's game against Turkiye was interrupted on several occasions as pitch invaders attempted to grab a photograph with one of the world's most famous players.

    Ronaldo had already made his mark on the pitch with an assist for former Manchester United team-mate Bruno Fernandes, as the Selecao demonstrated their credentials with a 3-0 victory.

    After the game, he took to social media to share a few snaps of his own, as well as some words of congratulations for his Portugal team-mates.

    Scotland savour the view

    Scotland's Euro 2024 adventure could come to an end on Sunday, with Steve Clarke's men requiring a victory over Hungary to have a chance of reaching the last 16.

    If they are sent packing after this weekend, they will definitely miss the scenic views at their Garmisch-Partenkirchen base camp.

    They will be hoping Saturday's training session was not their last set to this jaw-dropping mountain vista. 

    Like a fine wine

    Portugal's victory over Turkiye featured another composed performance from 41-year-old centre-back Pepe.

    The former Real Madrid man displayed his excellent reading of the game to cut out one menacing counterattack from Turkiye with the score at 1-0 and was generally excellent throughout.

    Pepe may be no slouch, but we're pretty sure UEFA have done him a favour with this picture… 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.