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Lamine Yamal Reflects on Meteoric Rise and Ambitions with Barça

Lamine Yamal / Getty Images
Lamine Yamal / Getty Images

Lamine Yamal discusses his rapid rise in football.

Lamine Yamal conducted an interview with ‘Marca’ while on Spanish international duty, where he reflects on his meteoric rise to the elite and some of his major challenges with Barça and the national team. At just 16 years old, he claims to feel privileged to experience so much, though he emphasizes that he prefers not to dwell on it too much. “I try not to think about it too much because in the end, when you think about things too much, when you worry more about things, problems arise. These are things you shouldn’t have in your head,” he begins by saying.

“I don’t really feel pressure. Because you’re playing at the club you want, you’re in Barcelona, the best city in the world, and that’s it. For now, everything is beautiful, it’s not pressure. I think when you start thinking about it, that’s when the pressure starts to build.” Lamine claims to be very grateful to Xavi, a coach he says is key to his career. “I owe a lot to Xavi, because in the end, he’s the one who brings me up to train, makes me debut with the first team, gives me continuity in the first team. He’s the one who gives confidence to the youngest players.” Additionally, he is ambitious about the team’s chances in La Liga and the Champions League. “I think in all the competitions where we are still alive, you can still dream. If there are possibilities of winning, you can win.”

Managing young players’ minutes has been one of Barça’s major topics this season. Xavi is trying to measure Lamine’s appearances, but the player admits that if it were up to him, he would play everything. “That always happens to me. I’m with my friends and they tell me, no, you’ve played two games. What I want is to play three, four.”

In this regard, for now, he does not rule out playing in the Euro and the Olympics. “Anything that involves playing is fine with me. Whatever comes, well, good, but first we will think about the Euro.” Asked about Pedri’s precedent and all the injuries he has suffered, he was cautious. “Well, in the end, everything depends on the person. There is still a lot missing. I don’t know, it’s something that can happen, but well, anything that involves playing, I will be available.” Lamine admitted that sometimes he is surprised thinking about all the years he has ahead of him in the elite. “Have you ever thought that you could have twenty years ahead of you as a professional footballer?” they ask him. And he responds: “Yes, I have thought about it. I stop and think, what will I do when I am 26 and have been in the elite for about ten years?” The Barcelona forward is delighted to be able to coincide with Cubarsí in the senior team. “I told him after the game against Atleti that I think the best thing is when one debuts. There’s no way it can go wrong, everything will go well. Nothing, enjoy it a lot, it’s a dream.”