Barcelona’s 16-year-old prodigy Lamine Yamal is on the verge of becoming the youngest player to make his debut for the Spanish national team after deciding to represent La Roja, reports SPORT.
The talented footballer faced a pivotal decision, torn between representing Spain, the nation of his birth and development, and Morocco, his father’s homeland.
Ultimately, the emerging starlet, a prized asset of Barcelona, has chosen to don the Spanish jersey.
Morocco accepted defeat
Yamal had engaged in deliberations with both sides, speaking with Moroccan coach Walid Regragui and meeting with representatives from the Spanish Federation, Francis Hernández and Tito Blanco, who journeyed to Barcelona.
The selection process was guided by the watchful eye of director Albert Luque.
As Morocco boss Regragui prepares to unveil his roster for upcoming clashes against Liberia and Burkina Faso in September, he has conceded that Yamal’s services will be absent.
With a track record that boasts participation in Spain’s youth divisions, including the recent European U17 Championship, the teenage prodigy is no stranger to La Roja’s unwavering faith.
Even Xavi, the coach of Barcelona, added his voice to the chorus, expressing his eagerness for Yamal to represent the Spanish team.
Spain took a familiar approach
Intriguingly, Yamal is understood to be on the preliminary roster of Luis de la Fuente’s squad for crucial encounters against Georgia and Cyprus, a journey toward securing qualification for the 2024 European Championship.
And, as per the report, his name will also feature on the final squad list for the aforementioned matches.
Demonstrating their characteristic efficiency, the Federation once again facilitated a seamless process, reminiscent of their handling of Abde last season.
However, the outcome diverged as Abde, despite committing to Spain, found himself excluded from Luis Enrique’s call-up, leading him to eventually opt for Morocco, with whom he participated in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.