Xavi Compares Barcelona Youngster Lamine Yamal to Superstar Lionel Messi


Xavi Compares Barcelona Youngster Lamine Yamal to Superstar Lionel Messi

Barcelona manager Xavi has compared 15-year-old Lamine Yamal to Lionel Messi after he made his debut for the Catalan giants.

Yamal came off the bench to become Barcelona's youngest-ever player on Saturday evening, and is one of just five players to make their La Liga debut before the age of 16. The teenager had a chance to crown his debut with a goal, and almost chalked up a brilliant assist, too.

As quoted by ESPN, Xavi said after the win: "I told him to try things and he did. At 15 years old, just imagine it... He is special and he could have even scored tonight, but [Betis goalkeeper Rui Silva] saved.

"He played with confidence and he showed what he is about. He has no fear and bags of talent. Some of his passes in the final third were really good."

Asked if he could be compared to both Messi and Ansu Fati, Xavi added: "He's a similar player because he has that innate talent in the final third which is difficult to find.

"Lamine doesn't seem like a 15-year-old, he's very mature. He's ready [to play] and he is training well. He can mark an era at this club as part of this team."

Yamal came on with just a few minutes remaining, with Barca already having a 4-0 lead. Xavi thus felt emboldened to give the teenager his bow, as his side are currently 11 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid in La Liga.

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