Lamine Yamal Chooses Spain: A Rising Star Joins La Roja’s Promising Future

Lamine Yamal, the young prodigy from Barcelona, has made the decision to represent the Spanish national team, further bolstering their already bright future. The exceptional performances of this rising star have not gone unnoticed by the national team coach, Luis de la Fuente, who intends to call him up for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Georgia and Cyprus. This Friday’s announcement will mark the beginning of Yamal’s journey with La Roja, a significant milestone in his football career.

The unique situation surrounding Yamal’s eligibility, as he could also play for Morocco, prompted a meeting with the player and his family last week to discuss his intentions. Representatives from the Spanish Football Federation, Francis Hernández and Vicente Blanco, met with Yamal in Barcelona to explain their plans. The response from the young footballer has been positive, as he has chosen to commit his future to Spain.

Yamal’s decision to join Spain is a testament to the progression he has made since his initial call-ups to the youth teams. Having already represented Spain at the U15, U16, U17 levels, where he achieved notable success as a runner-up in the European Championship, Yamal made his debut for the U21 team against Germany on October 25, 2022, playing 23 minutes.

With the confirmation of Yamal’s commitment, Coach De la Fuente will include him in the national team squad this Friday. However, it is important to note that this does not guarantee permanent inclusion in the team. A modification to FIFA’s eligibility rules in 2020 allows players the opportunity to switch national teams if they have played a maximum of three matches for their previous team before turning 21, including qualification matches. Furthermore, there must be a three-year gap between their last appearance for the first national team and their first appearance for the second. It is worth mentioning that if a player has participated in a World Cup match, this nullifies the effect of the rule, thereby preventing them from representing another nation.

Therefore, at just 16 years old, Yamal could potentially play for Spain until he turns 21, as long as he does not exceed the three-match limit. Afterward, he could consider representing Morocco, but only after waiting for three years. This complex scenario presents an intriguing possibility that cannot be ignored.

Nevertheless, Yamal’s primary intention is to don the colors of La Roja. This upcoming Friday’s call-up will mark the beginning of his journey with the Spanish national team.

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