Xavi sees “flashes” of Lionel Messi in Barcelona youngster

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said Lamine Yamal has “flashes” of Lionel Messi after the youngster struck the winning goal in Friday’s 1-0 win over Mallorca in LaLiga.

The 16-year-old scored the only goal of the game in the second half, coming inside from the left flank and brilliantly finding the top corner having hit the bar minutes earlier.

Yamal was one of three teenagers in the starting lineup against Mallorca, with 17-year-old Pau Cubarsí starting in defence and 18-year-old Marc Guiu in attack

Xavi said it’s unfair to compare anyone with former Barça star Messi, but conceded there are similarities with Yamal.

“I get [the comparison] but it doesn’t benefit Lamine to make it,” Xavi said in his post-game news conference.

“Anyone who has ever been compared with Messi has lost. It is not good to compare players with him.

“But Lamine is left footed, he comes inside. There are flashes of Messi, but we are talking abut the best footballer ever, so it is best not to compare them.”

Yamal has now scored six goals in his debut campaign with Barça, assisting another seven, and is quickly establishing himself as one of the team’s key players.

“Lamine made the difference tonight,” Xavi added “He did not have his best game for Barcelona, but he made the difference, he was totally differential for the team. I am so happy for him at 16 years old.”

Ilkay Gündogan missed a first-half penalty for Barça before Yamal’s winner, which took the Blaugrana above Girona into second and five points behind Real Madrid having played a game more.

Photo Credit: FCBarcelona/ X