Young stars of Spain leading way to Euro 2024 success

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1720560693 image
1720560693 image


Spain booked a spot in the Euro 2024 Final following a 2-1 win over France in Munich on Tuesday. The Spaniards have been the most visually appealing team to watch in an otherwise slog of a European Championship. That continued on Tuesday as Spain scored two brilliant goals to send the 2018 World Cup Champions and 2022 World Cup runner-up packing.

While Dani Olmo scored his team-leading third goal at Euro 2024 to secure the win, the impetus for Spain came from Lamine Yamal. The 16-year-old may not turn 17 until the weekend, but a world-class strike on the teenager’s left foot was the response Spain needed after falling behind early. As the tournament has gone on the Barcelona phenom has grown in confidence. While he has delivered three assists at Euro 2024, he has always looked a threat to score.

Upon picking up the ball five yards outside the France box in the 20th minute, Lamine Yamal cut onto his favored left foot. His curling effort floated beyond a diving Mike Maignan to deflect off the post and go in. At 16 years and 361 days, Lamine Yamal is now the youngest goal-scorer in the history of the Euros. The way in which he did it with one of the best goals of the tournament only highlights the potential of this young star.

It would be one thing if Lamine Yamal’s moment of brilliance was one random piece of fortune. He was by far the best player on the pitch for either team. Dribbling ability was clear in Yamal’s efforts to advance the ball forward. He should have had an assist in the opening moments of the game with yet another delightful cross to the back post. Fabian Ruiz skewed his header wide on what deserved a goal.

Fearless Lamine Yamal leads Spain into Euro 2024 Final

Spain has two parts of its games that have propelled it to the Euro 2024 Final. The young wingers of Yamal and Nico Williams, who is just 21 years old, have tenacity that other teams lack. Take France for example. Kylian Mbappe had his chances, but Didier Deschamps did not maximize his speed and ability. Despite Jesus Navas sitting on a yellow card, Mbappe was not as lethal as he could have been. Likewise, Ousmane Dembele never looked likely to create down the right side like Yamal was today.

Outside of the youthful exuberance, Spain’s control in the midfield allows the forwards to be free. Rodri is not a young player by modern standards. At 28, his presence in the midfield is dominant. He has the ability to slow things down when France readies an attack. Then, he can spray the ball wide to Yamal or Williams to continue their attacks going forward. With this all in front of the defense, opposition chances are few and far between.

Going into the final, Luis de la Fuente must prepare for either the Netherlands or England. Yet, knowing that he has a dynamic attack and a stout midfield, Spain will be the favorite regardless of which team comes out of the other semifinal.

PHOTOS: IMAGO

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