Euro 2024: Messi's 2007 photos with baby Yamal go viral

Lamine Yamal, the 16-year-old Spanish prodigy, became the youngest player to score in Euros last night


Rituraj Borkakoty

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Images of Lionel Messi holding baby Yamal have gone viral. — X
Images of Lionel Messi holding baby Yamal have gone viral. — X

Published: Wed 10 Jul 2024, 10:19 PM

Lamine Yamal jumped for joy and smiled from ear to ear when the referee blew the final whistle on Tuesday night.

Yamal, the 16-year-old prodigy who emerged from Barcelona’s youth academy, became the youngest player to score a goal in the history of Euros with a stunning left-footer, inspiring Spain to stage a stirring fightback and beat Kylian Mbappe’s France in the semifinal.

Having already delivered a string of jaw-dropping performances in Germany before heading into the semifinals, Yamal has now become the toast of world football, sparking an avalanche of social media posts comparing him to Lionel Messi.

Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates at the end of the match against France. — AFP
Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates at the end of the match against France. — AFP

Remarkably, it was only last week that an old photo of a teenage Messi holding a baby Yamal broke the internet.

In 2007, the baby-faced Messi was beginning to take giant strides in elite football when he did a photoshoot for a charity calendar at Camp Nou.

Some of those pictures show Messi holding a six-month old baby.

That baby was none other than Yamal.

No one back then had an idea that the little baby would go on to become a global sensation.

Photographer Joan Monfort, who took those pictures in 2007, still remembers the day fondly.

“We made the calendar with the help of UNICEF. So UNICEF did a raffle in the neighborhood of Roca Fonda in Mataró where Lamine’s family lived. They signed up for the raffle to have their picture taken at the Camp Nou with a Barca player. And they won the raffle,” Monfort was quoted as saying by AP.

By 2007, Messi was already football’s hottest young player who had scored wonder goals against Real Madrid and Getafe.

But Monfort said the young Argentine genius looked clueless when asked to hold baby Yamal for the photoshoot.

“Messi is a pretty introverted guy, he’s shy,” Monfort recalled. “He was coming out of the locker room and suddenly he finds himself in another locker room with a plastic tub full of water and a baby in it. It was complicated. He didn’t even know how to hold him at first.”

Monfort was not aware that those photos had resurfaced online until he received a message from a friend.

The photo was shared last week on Instagram by Yamal's father, Mounir Nasraoui, with the caption: “The beginning of two legends.”

While Messi went on to become one of the greatest players in history, Lamal has now shown that he has what it takes to be an absolute legend of the beautiful game.


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