Tactical Insights

Photo of FC Barcelona Idol Messi ‘Blessing’ Baby Lamine Yamal Emerges

A photo of FC Barcelona idol Lionel Messi “blessing” a baby Lamine Yamal in the late 2000s has gone viral after being shared on social media by the Spain international’s father.

A snap of Messi and Lamine together at Barca HQ has already been well-circulated and hardly comes as a surprise.

After all, just like Messi, the teen sensation currently lighting up the Euros with La Roja was reared by the famed La Masia academy which he joined as a seven-year-old.

It is not uncommon for academy talents to cross paths with first team stars and have photos taken together at any club, but what makes the latest photographic evidence of the often compared duo so special is that Lamine barely seems to be out of the womb at a time when it is highly unlikely he would have even kicked his first ball as his talent still remained unknown.

The photo has understandably gone viral and shows a young, long-haired and smiling Messi, who would have been 20 years old at the time, doting over a baby Lamine in a plastic tub full of bubbles as his mother bathes him.

“The beginning of two legends,” wrote Lamine’s father Mounir Nasroui in the caption.

Onlookers left comments remarking that Messi was “blessing” the youngster and “passing on his powers” to the 16-year-old who made his FC Barcelona debut aged 15.

The day after the photo did the rounds, SPORT explained its origins and claimed ownership.

It originates from a December 2007 photoshoot for a 2008 calendar the newspaper did with UNICEF, which had participation from various Barca first team stars at the time as Lamine was barely six months old.

Emergence of the special shot will do nothing to quell comparisons between Messi and Lamine when there are already plenty of them considering they are both left-footed La Masia products who started their Barca first team careers on the right wing.

While at the Euros with Spain, Lamine played such talk down by telling Onda Cero: “Messi is the best player in history. To be compared to him is incredible but no one can be compared to him. I hope to have half the career that Messi has had.”

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