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Get ready Europe - the Lamine Yamal era starts at Euro 2024! Spain's teenage wonderkid can define a generation

Lamine Yamal has described himself as "mischievous." It is perhaps the perfect word for this nuisance of a footballer. A tricky winger, compared often to Lionel Messi, but stylistically similar to Bukayo Saka, the teenager has established himself as one of the best talents in Europe over the course of the past 12 months.

Everyone has seen it. Former Barcelona manager Xavi said Yamal could "define an era" in Catalunya. David Villa earmarked him as a top talent, while Dani Carvajal remarked that he is almost impossible to defend. There was a sense all throughout the 2023-24 season, as Barcelona struggled their way through a torrid campaign, that Yamal was special. At times, the 16-year-old starlet was the only reason to tune in and watch the Blaugrana - such was the lack of quality in their play.

Attention now turns to the stage where the youngster could make his biggest impact yet. Luis de la Fuente has made it clear that Yamal will be an important player for Spain this summer, and he will certainly be in the XI when La Roja play Croatia to open their Euro 2024 campaign on Saturday.

As long as Yamal is on the pitch, Spain, a footballing nation in dire need of an attacking talent to get behind, will feel like they have a chance.

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