Xavi backs ‘special’ Yamal to reach the top after teenager makes Barcelona history


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Lamine Yamal, a 15-year-old La Masia graduate, made his Barcelona debut on Saturday against Real Betis in LaLiga at Camp Nou.

Xavi believes Lamine Yamal will go on to achieve great things after the teenager made Barcelona history with his LaLiga debut against Real Betis on Saturday.

Yamal was introduced as a late substitute at Camp Nou as Barca cruised to a 4-0 victory over Betis, restoring their 11-point lead at the summit.

The La Masia academy product, aged 15 years and 290 days, became the Blaugrana’s youngest player in LaLiga history.

Yamal almost teed up a late goal for Ousmane Dembele, only for the winger to falter in front of goal, and Xavi believes the midfielder has the talent to make his mark.

The Barca coach said: “I’ve told him to try things. At 15 years old, he is a talent and a special player.

“He has been able to score, he has assisted and when you see him in training you see that he can be very great.”

Raphinha scored one goal and assisted another in the thrashing of Betis, with Andreas Christensen and Robert Lewandowski also on target and Guido Rodriguez scoring an own goal.

The Brazil winger echoed Xavi’s sentiment on Yamal, saying: “When I was 15 years old, I played for my neighbourhood team.

“It’s incredible. It would have been incredible to score a goal.”

Raphinha suggested Barca must repeat performances such as the one against Betis, which was in stark contrast to their showing in Wednesday’s surprise 2-1 defeat to Rayo Vallecano.

He added: “The Rayo game was very tough. We needed to respond with a victory.

“Xavi warned us, we knew we needed a better attitude and be better on the ball. If we want to win the league, we have to play like this.”


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