Morata predicts Yamal to be one of the best in the world ahead of Euro 2024

By Sports Desk June 12, 2024

Alvaro Morata believes Lamine Yamal has the potential to be one of the world's best ahead of Spain's Euro 2024 opener against Croatia this Saturday. 

Morata, who will lead La Roja at the tournament, is one of only two players included in Luis de la Fuente's squad with over 50 international caps, with the Spanish opting for youth over experience in Germany. 

16-year-old Lamal enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with Barcelona, scoring seven goals and registering 10 assists in 50 appearances in all competitions. 

Yamal is expected to break Pedri's European Championship record and become Spain's youngest player to feature at the tournament, with Morata believing he has all the attributes to reach the top of world football. 

"It's a pleasure to have him playing with us. He offers something different," Morata told UEFA.com on the La Masia graduate.

"If he is lucky and doesn't suffer major injuries, then he will be among the very best in the world, because despite being just 16 years old, he is already a step further than many others.

"He must mature, but that's normal. Sometimes it seems he isn't 16, it seems he is 23 or 24. Above all, we need to make him understand how important it is to manage matches mentally and also the fact that you sometimes need to slow down the match rather than trying to make something out of everything.

"He is really good at dribbling, he has a great technique, but he must help us with that by understanding that there are certain matches where the most important thing is to protect the current result."

Morata takes the armband from Jordi Alba, who captained the side to their maiden Nations League title last year, and is hopeful of emulating Iker Casillas, who led Spain to three international honours, including back-to-back European Championships. 

"It's an incredibly proud feeling, Morata said. "My family often sends me a photo of mine of the time when Spain won the first of their last two EURO [in 2008]. 

"I was out in a square full of people celebrating the title, and you always think it's a dream when you start playing for Spain to one day be amongst the top scorers, or to be the captain. I've achieved both those things, step by step.

"Every time I hear the anthem and I wear the [captain's] armband it is unbelievable. I only try to help my team-mates, make sure they're happy but also drum into them that a competition like this is all about very small details. We're not here on holiday, and this month is about working hard."

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    The Spaniard's statistics are more impressive having only started one of their first four games at the tournament. 

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