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Spain’s Luis de la Fuente Celebrates “Genius” Lamine Yamal After Historic Euro 2024 Performance

In a stunning display of skill and composure, 16-year-old Lamine Yamal shattered records during Spain’s electrifying 2-1 victory over France in the Euro 2024 semi-final in Munich on Tuesday. Spain’s head coach, Luis de la Fuente, was effusive in his praise for the teenage sensation, comparing his prodigious talent to that of a “genius.”

Lamine Yamal etched his name into the history books by becoming the youngest-ever male Euros goalscorer. His brilliant strike leveled the score after Randal Kolo Muani had given France the lead. The decisive goal, however, came from Dani Olmo, securing Spain’s spot in the final. De la Fuente was categorical in his admiration as he addressed the media, “We have seen a genius, the product of a genius,” he stated with evident pride.

The Spanish coach emphasized the need to nurture Yamal’s burgeoning talent with great care, ensuring that his meteoric rise doesn’t become a burden. “He’s a player we have to take care of—I have to give him the advice to keep working with the same humility and keep his feet on the floor,” De la Fuente noted. He continued, “He would keep growing but this maturity and attitude at such a young age is like that of a more experienced player. We are lucky he is Spanish and we can enjoy him for many more years.”

Yamal’s remarkable journey began with Spain’s opening match against Croatia, where he already made headlines by becoming the youngest player to participate in the competition. His contributions didn’t stop there, as he also managed to provide three assists during Spain’s run to the semi-final. Now, with the final set on July 14, a day after Yamal’s 17th birthday, Spain will face either England or the Netherlands in Berlin.

De la Fuente was also quick to share his gratitude and praise for the rest of the squad. He particularly acknowledged the outstanding contribution of Dani Olmo, not only for his winning goal but also for his overall performance. “We’ve been talking about Lamine but I have 26 great players,” De la Fuente asserted. “I know [Olmo] very well and the potential he has..

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..I am grateful to him too.”

The coach, who took the reins after Luis Enrique following Spain’s shock exit in the last 16 of the World Cup 2022, commended his team’s collective spirit and commitment, particularly in neutralizing French star Kylian Mbappe. “This team is always to believe in,” he said. “They are exemplary players, individually they are fantastic but they harness that for the team. They always work for the good of the team, they are generous, I’ve spoken about the values the team has and this is another show of that.”

An unfortunate incident marred the post-match celebrations when striker and captain Alvaro Morata was struck by a stadium worker, leading to concerns about a possible injury. However, De la Fuente assured that the injury was minor. “He had a blow that hurt him, but it seems like it will be nothing,” he confirmed.

Morata, who has faced criticism in recent days, received a strong defense from his coach. “On and off the pitch, there’s not many like that, giving us what we need, sacrificing himself, and then in the dressing room, is where he really shows the greatness he has, an exceptional human. He needs to be remembered as one of the Spanish football greats.”

As Spain basks in the glory of their semi-final triumph, the focus inevitably shifts to the upcoming final. The excitement surrounding Yamal’s groundbreaking achievements only adds to the anticipation. Fans and analysts alike are eager to see how this young prodigy, described as a “genius” at just 16 years old, will further shape the narrative of Spain’s football legacy.

While the final showdown on July 14 promises to be an epic contest, the rise of Lamine Yamal has already added a new chapter to the annals of football history. Coach De la Fuente’s hopes of maintaining Yamal’s groundedness and humility seem well-placed as Spain looks forward to more dazzling performances from their young star in the years to come. The future of Spanish football, it seems, is in very capable and inspiringly young hands.