Who is the youngest player to feature in El Clásico?
Barcelona’s teenage winger Lamine Yamal has been setting LaLiga alight this season with his appearances in the big games.
Saturday 28 October 2023. It’s the day that we saw the introduction of the latest youngest player ever to appear in the biggest club game in world football, Barcelona vs Real Madrid. El Clásico, as it is commonly known, kicked off in Catalonia with both teams pushing hard at the top of the LaLiga standings. And with around a quarter of an hour left in a tightly fought game, Lamine Yamal was introduced by Xavi Hernández, at the age of 16 years and 107 days.
The record had stood for many, many decades, although while some people have cited it being previously held by Barça’s Vicente Martinez since 1941, the ever-reliable Mister Chip reminds us of Alfonso Albéniz, 121 years ago. Either way, it’s some achievement to be thrown into this game at such a young age. As it turned out, he was on the losing side, Madrid running out 2-1 victors.
What other ‘youngest’ records for Lamine Yamal have?
Barcelona endured a tough start to their LaLiga clash away to Granada on 8 October, conceding a goal to Bryan Zaragoza after just 17 seconds at Nuevos Los Carmenes. Already trailing league leaders Real Madrid by five points at that time, Xavi’s side would then fall further behind in Andalusia, with Zaragoza doubling his team’s advantage just before the half-hour mark. With veteran striker Robert Lewandowski out of action, it fell to a player at the other end of his career to start the Catalans’ fightback: Lamine Yamal.
Lamine Yamal takes LaLiga goalscorer record
The winger’s goal in first-half injury-time saw him break yet another record, that of the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Spanish top flight. Yamal, who was born on 10 July 2007, scored his first LaLiga goal at the age of just 16 years and 87 days, beating the previous record holder, Málaga’s Fabrice Olinga, by 11 days. The Cameroonian’s strike against Celta Vigo in August 2012 was his only first-team goal in Spain.
Yamal’s Barcelona records
While Yamal doesn’t hold the record for the youngest player to feature in a LaLiga game (that’s former Real Mallorca midfielder Luka Romero, who now plays for AC Milan, at 15 years and 219 days), he is both the youngest to play for Barcelona’s first team (15 years, nine months and 16 days) and their youngest starter (16 years and 38 days). He achieved those feats on his first-team debut against Real Betis in April and versus Cádiz in August respectively. And now the overall Clásico record.
Youngest Spain international and goalscorer
In the September international break, the teenager found the net on his international debut for Spain against Georgia at just 16 years and 57 years old, breaking club teammate Gavi’s records as both youngest appearance-maker and goalscorer for La Roja. His goal also saw him surpass former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale as the youngest ever scorer in European Championship qualifying.
Champions League target
Yamal didn’t quite manage to take the record for youngest male player ever to play in a Champions League game, which is held by Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko, but has a little under a year to try to break Ansu Fati’s youngest goalscorer record (17 years and 40 days) in the competition.