Picture of Equatorial Guinean-Spain’s Yamal Lamine, Lionel Messi confirm Football Legacy

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When Joan Monfort took photos of Lionel Messi with a baby for a charity calendar almost 17 years ago, he knew that the long-haired young man would make it big in soccer. He could not have imagined that the little boy would as well. The baby in the photo – which has now gone viral – was none other than Lamine Yamal, the Spanish wunderkind who, at 16, is showing such promise that he’s already being compared to the greats of the sport.

Already the youngest to have played for Spain, he became the youngest player ever in the European Championship at the ongoing tournament in Germany. The long-forgotten photo from 2007 resurfaced after Yamal’s father posted it on Instagram last week with the text ‘The beginning of two legends.’

Monfort, 56, who currently works as a freelance photographer for The Associated Press and others, said the photo-shoot took place in the visitors’ locker room at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium in the fall of 2007, when Yamal was just a few months old. Barcelona players posed with children and their families for a calendar as part of an annual charity drive by local newspaper Diario Sport and UNICEF. Monfort was in charge of the photo shoots – and it just so happened that Messi was paired up with Yamal’s family. His mother, who is from Equatorial Guinea, is next to Messi and the baby in one of the photos.

Messi was 20 at the time and already considered a big talent, but it would take a couple more years before he made his mark as the most outstanding player of his generation at FC Barcelona and Argentina’s national team. Like Messi, Yamal has gone through Barcelona’s renowned La Masia youth academy.

Despite his young age, Yamal has been one of Spain’s best players at the European Championship in Germany, where his team will play France in the semi-finals on Wednesday. Yamal will turn 17 on Saturday, the day before the final in Berlin.

The remarkable journey of Yamal, rooted in his diverse heritage from Equatorial Guinea through his mother, and his connection to Messi highlights the intertwining of legacies in the world of soccer. This connection, captured in a single photo, now serves as a testament to the potential for greatness that transcends generations and borders.

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