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Lamine Yamal makes history as Spain pummel Georgia

16-year-old forward nets on debut for La Roja

Spanish football was introduced to its latest wonderkid as Lamine Yamal became the youngest player to represent Spain and youngest goalscorer in La Roja’s 7-1 demolition of Georgia in their UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifier in Tbilisi.

Much was made of the decision to call up 16-year-old winger in the days leading up to the match against Georgia, with many feeling international football may be a step too far for the Barcelona teenager who has taken La Liga by storm. He featured in the U-17 Euros for Spain only this summer and was set to become a full international months later.

La Roja took the lead in Tbilisi after only 22 minutes through experienced striker Alvaro Morata, before an own goal from Solomon Kvirkvelia saw their lead doubled five minutes later. RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo added a third for the UEFA Nations League champions after 38 minutes before Morata completed his brace two minutes later to give Spain a healthy half-time advantage.

Before half-time, however, the Spain manager sent on the duo of Yamal and Nico Williams for Marco Asensio and Dani Olmo. By appearing off the bench, Yamal became the youngest Spanish international at 16 years and 57 days old, breaking the record previously held by Barcelona teammate Gavi.

On as a half-time sub, Watford midfielder Giorgi Chakvetadze pulled one back for Georgia in the 49th minute before the Spaniards pulled away.

First, Morata completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute to restore his side’s four-goal cushion before Williams found the net three minutes later to make it 6-1.

In the 74th minute, the improbable happened when a brilliant run resulted in a low cross from Williams, and the ball found its way to 16-year-old Yamal inside the box. The teenager showed the poise of a deadly finisher to guide the ball with equal part power and equal part finesse into the far corner before wheeling away in celebration, as he became the country’s youngest-ever goalscorer.

Spain denied their hosts any more goals as they went back home with a comfortable win and maximum points. They will play host to Cyprus in Granada on Tuesday looking for their third win in four group matches.

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