Tactical Insights

Why Spain star Lamine Yamal proudly displays Equatorial Guinea and Morocco flags on boots he shares with Lionel Messi

Lamine Yamal has enjoyed a breakout Euro 2024 campaign for Spain, but there are two other countries he holds dear.

Despite his tender age, the 16-year-old Barcelona starlet has already become a key player for La Roja and has lit up the tournament.

Yamal has been electric so farCredit: Getty

Yamal enjoyed a breakthrough season at Camp Nou and only made his international debut last September 2023.

He instantly became Spain’s youngest-ever scorer at 16 years and 57 days after finding the net in a 7-1 win over Georgia.

Yamal has since featured in all of his country’s games at Euro 2024 so far and has contributed two assists.

Before the tournament, the winger was a key figure in Adidas’ launch of their F50 boots alongside his idol Lionel Messi, who is currently wearing them for Argentina at Copa America.

However, Yamal’s electric feet have seen fans notice his own customisation to the attire – with the flags of both Morocco and Equatorial Guinea proudly displayed.

Why Yamal has Equatorial Guinea and Morocco flags on his Spain boots?

The teenager was born in Catalonia, but his parents come from Morocco and Equatorial Guinea.

As such, Yamal had the opportunity to represent either nation internationally but opted to play for the nation of his birth.

The flags’ inclusion on the boots he wears for Spain are a tribute to his father’s homeland in Morocco and his mother’s in Equatorial Guinea.

You can clearly see Morroco and Equatorial Guinea’s flagCredit: Getty
Yamal adds the Spanish flag above the other two at BarcelonaCredit: Getty

When playing for his club Barcelona, Yamal also has the Spanish flag, but when representing La Roja, he removes Spain’s emblem.

Of course, he could have represented any of the three nations on the international stage, but he chose Spain.

Morocco did try to get Yamal to play for them, but they were unsuccessful.

In 2023, Moroccan FA’s president, Fouzi Lekjaa, claimed they held a meeting with Yamal and his parents, but he rejected the chance to play for Morocco.

Yamal represented a variety of Spain youth sides before joining the senior set-upCredit: Getty

Lekjaa said: “We conveyed our project to him and his family, but Lamine was already convinced about going to Spain.

“Spain and Morocco are separated by 14 kilometres, and it is normal for these things to happen. I respect Lamine.”

So, Yamal might not have chosen to play for Morocco or Equatorial Guinea, but he still holds them close to his heart.

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