Lamin Yamal, Christensen’s record-breaking kid on the night… and Messi
Jordi Blanco, correspondent in BarcelonaReading: 3 min.
Lamin Yamal turned 16 on July 13 and this Saturday, April 29, became the youngest footballer in history to play in La Liga with Barcelona. In 1912, Barça was the first top scorer for the club and was not among the earliest rookies in its history, as Paulino Alcantara, who debuted at 15 years and 141 days, had held that feat for more than a century.
A young forward who didn’t even play in the subs, an unprecedented leap from his youth as a cadet, Vicén Martínez made his debut in 1941, 16 years, 9 months and 5 days in the league championship and Ansu. Fati made at 16 years, 9 months and 25 days.
Xavi, in his third call-up with the first team, replaced Yamal in the closing stages of a match that had already been punished, a week after his first, and promptly came on for Kavi in the 82nd minute. 4-0 after the match, and Barca allowed him to show that greatness few fans who follow the daily life of grassroots football enjoy.
It was discovered almost in no time that he was a special football player. He touched the target after stealing the ball in the area, which was evaded by Rui Silva, who found his shot and moments later he provided a superb assist, high above the defence, which Anzu Fati missed by millimetres.
When the young talent’s best moment came, Ousmane Dembele had already resurfaced, an unclassifiable footballer at this Barça whose fans greeted him three months after his injury and whistling him with equal intensity 14 months on. He did not renew the contract he signed after the season.
Christensen… and Messi Andreas Christensen has not played with Barca since March 19, when they beat Real Madrid in the Liga Clasico, effectively clinching the championship. Four days later he was injured in the Danish team’s clash against Finland and missed the next six games for the Catalan side.
Coincidence or not, of those six games, Barça won just two, so as soon as he recovered, Xavi immediately returned him to the starting line-up and made an eleven against Betis. It didn’t take long for him to regain his senses at the back as he improved on this aspect compared to last month and was once again solid when releasing the ball. A quarter of an hour later, he celebrated his comeback with his first goal as a Barça player, a header from Rabinha’s measured cross (11 assists for the Brazilian) and a general oversight of the Verdiblanca defence.
By then, the Camp Nou had already succumbed to the cult of recent weeks: by the 10th minute, the absent Messi was in the spirit of the devoted fans. This rain Saturday (the first game this year with rain) was no less. You could even say it was too much. It didn’t even reach half a minute, but the fans were enthusiastically chanting the Argentine star’s name, indicating that his return to Barca is what he wants above all else.
Forms are placed from the club, although they do not encourage, on the contrary, all speculation about Leo. Xavi himself had to agree to a meeting between the club and LaLiga executives on Friday and for the fourth week in a row in a preview of a match to hint at a possible return.
Although financial logic dictates that the Argentine’s comeback is extremely difficult, around Barça, the illusion of an unprecedented quiet night is heightened.