SW Slots Sports >Football World >Germany out to stop Lamine Yamal show in blockbuster Euro 2024 quarterfinal

Germany out to stop Lamine Yamal show in blockbuster Euro 2024 quarterfinal

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STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Spain wonderkid Lamine Yamal has had a charmed run in the European Championship.

It’s time to end it, says Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Germany and Spain, both record three-time Euro champions, meet in a juicy quarterfinal on Friday.

Yamal has had a breakthrough Euro 2024. He’s thrilled fans, helped drive Spain to the final eight, and been compared to Lionel Messi — all at the age of just 16.

“He’s only 16 so there are big chances for our players in that regard to defend him,” Nagelsmann said at a news conference on Thursday.

“We need to be prepared for several things. But on the other hand he doesn’t have so much experience when things don’t go his way. We’ll see how he reacts then. This is not an instruction to knock him off his feet, don’t worry. We want to have the ball, not hurt the player.”

Yamal came to Euro 2024 with a bunch of ‘youngest’ records, and has inevitably set more. He became the youngest player to feature at a men’s Euro when he started in Spain’s opening 3-0 win over Croatia.

The Barcelona teen was already the youngest player to debut and score in the Spanish league at 15, the youngest player to start in the Champions League and the youngest to score for Spain.

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“For a 16-year-old, he’s come a long way. When you look at where I was at 16, he’s at a completely different place,” 33-year-old Germany and Barcelona midfielder İlkay Gündoğan said.

Gündoğan has had a first-hand look at Yamal as the teenager came through at the Spanish club last season. “The way he plays soccer and the risks he takes, he’s an extremely important player for Spain and for Barcelona. I have huge respect for what he’s doing.”

However, Yamal has only just finished his first season in professional soccer. Spain teammate Nico Williams — who has also been drawing plaudits at age 21 — has yet to play European club soccer with his team Athletic Bilbao.

Germany also has a young and energetic attack in 21-year-olds Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz. They play their club soccer at Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen respectively. Not only have they featured regularly in top-level European matches, but they’ve often been decisive.

“My focus is not so much on Yamal but on Jamal,” Nagelsmann said with a smile.

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