Tactical Insights

FC Barcelona Star Lamine Yamal ‘Shameless’ Says La Masia Graduate


FC Barcelona prodigy Lamine Yamal has been called “shameless” by a fellow La Masia graduate who will face him at the Euros and made this remark during an interview with MARCA.

Ivan Balliu was born in Catalonia in 1992. And while first starting off at Girona, he, like Lamine was later picked up by Barca’s academy where he graduated in 2011.

Progressing beyond what was then known as the Barca B reserve team was difficult for Balliu, but he has found his feet at Rayo Vallecano since the turn of the decade where he has become a regular.

Because of his heritage, he is also an Albania international that will face Lamine and Barca target Nico Williams when meeting Spain at the ongoing Euros.

The skillful wingers have been earning rave reviews for their displays as La Roja tops its group, and Balliu revealed to MARCA that his Albania teammates have been asking about Lamine and Nico.

“Nico and Lamine Yamal are scary,” Balliu said. “They are two shameless people, they play without shame. They do not stop confronting [the opposition], insisting.”

“It may not work out once, twice, three times, but they keep you tense because you know that they are not going to stop,” he added, knowing all about trying to handle the duo in La Liga while defending for Rayo.

Lamine and Nico were particularly dazzling in the first half of their match against Italy and both hit the woodwork in a match Spain were unlucky to win only 1-0.

“My teammates were amazed, they couldn’t stop asking about them. Especially about Nico. I knew Lamine Yamal better, but I told them: ‘Watch out for that guy, he has a lot of quality’.

“He’s a great player. And if you have one like that on each wing … well, you tell me,” Baillu concluded.

This is something that could soon be a reality for Barca if it coughs up a rumoured €50 million for Nico to snatch him away from boyhood outfit Athletic Bilbao.

On Saturday, while attending an event held to honor Barca legend Ronaldinho in his former suburban home of Castelldefels, fans demanded that President Joan Laporta goes all out to sign Nico.



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