Tactical Insights

Barcelona’s Yamal gets rare Bernabéu ovation in Brazil draw

Barcelona teenager Lamine Yamal was given a standing ovation by the Bernabéu crowd as Spain drew 3-3 with Brazil on Tuesday, with Seleção coach Dorival Júnior tipping him to be one of the stars of the 2026 World Cup.

Yamal, 16, played a role in all three Spain goals, winning a penalty, setting up Dani Olmo for the second goal and then feeding Dani Carvajal with a pass with the outside of his boot in the build up to another La Roja penalty.

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When he was substituted in stoppage time, supporters at the Bernabéu, the home of Barça’s El Clásico rivals Real Madrid, rose to their feet to show their appreciation for his performance.

“I just try to remain relaxed and not be affected by anything on the outside,” Yamal told reporters when asked about the reception he received. “Above all, it was a great game for the fans and I am happy because we showed that we can compete against anyone.”

The international friendly also served as a showcase for another young talent, with Brazil’s 17-year-old striker Endrick coming off the bench to make it 2-2 early in the second half after teammate Rodrygo Goes had replied to goals from Rodri and Olmo.

Endrick, who also scored the only goal at Wembley last weekend in Brazil’s win over England, will move to Madrid in the summer with Dorival predicting he and Yamal will both have a huge impact on the game in the coming years.

“I am sure that both Endrick and Yamal, who I have seen at the Bernabéu tonight, will be two of the big stars of the next World Cup in 2026,” he told reporters.

Prior to the World Cup, which will be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada, Spain will take part in the European Championships in Germany this summer.

With six caps and two goals to his name, Yamal is already establishing himself as a key player for his country. Newspaper Mundo Deportivo dubbed him “Laminho” after the Brazil game, with Diario Sport highlighting the significance of the ovation coming at the Bernabéu.

He is, therefore, expected to have a big role at the Euros, although Spain coach Luis de la Fuente attempted to temper expectations slightly.

“Lamine’s performance was outstanding, but we have to be careful,” De la Fuente said in a news conference. “That’s the best advice we can give these kids who are so young and so good. All we can ask is that they make their talent available for the team. And he does that.”

A brilliant Yamal pass to Carvajal, which led to a second Spain penalty converted by Manchester City‘s Rodri, looked to have sealed the win the home side, but an even later spot kick, scored by Lucas Paquetá after the Barça youngster had gone off, salvaged a draw for Brazil.

Yamal made his debut for Barça as a 15-year-old last year and has made 39 appearances in all competitions this season, contributing to 13 goals.

He is the youngest player to ever represent Spain and also the youngest to ever score for the country, netting on his debut against Georgia last September.

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