Lamine Yamal.. A child from the suburbs of Barcelona to summit Everest in Europe

Lamine Yamal continues to dazzle the world with his early records, making him the youngest player to score in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over France. European ChampionshipIt is a memory that will not be forgotten, his area of ​​residence, Rocafunda, in Catalonia (northern Spain), where he is proud of himself among his neighbors.

Born in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona in 2007 to a Moroccan father and an Equatorial Guinean mother, Lamine Yamal spent part of his childhood in this humble neighbourhood of Mataró, where almost half the population lives in poverty, and to which he dedicates his goals by drawing “304” with his fingers, the last digit of the Catalan postal code (08304).

Carlos Serrano, owner of the El Cordobes cafe, where Lamin’s father is a regular customer and has a great relationship with him, told the Spanish news agency:EFE“Roccafunda has always been in the news for bad things, and it’s time for it to be in the news for something good,” he says. The café is decorated with his son’s first professional jersey, signed by him, in tribute to the support Serrano has always given the family.

“The father would come for coffee at 7am and then take the boy to training with Barcelona,” said the man who has run the café for 30 years. “He would say the shirt should have been mine because of the help I gave him, but that’s between him and me.”

Quarrels with Lamine Yamal’s father

Speaking of the boy, Serrano remembers his balls in the square next to the café, which often ended up on the road, and were the cause of many quarrels with the player’s father, Mounir Nasraoui.

“Before, we knew him all our lives, we knew he would be a different player; you could see that,” said the man, who last saw 16-year-old Lamine Yamal months ago, when he gave him a signed copy of his shirt and offered him a fresh orange juice. Since then, the number of visitors to his shop has increased exponentially, with journalists, Barça fans and curious onlookers coming to see the shirt he gave him.

“Lamine Yamal comes a little now, to see his grandmother, but he leaves quickly because the children rush to him and ask him for autographs, shirts and tickets to matches,” Serrano noted.

In the café, a meeting place for regular customers, they show the news on the television, showing Lamine’s goal in the semi-final win over France, a moment when all eyes turn from the signed shirt to the screen.

Shining since his early childhood

Lamine Yamal’s first appearance with the Barcelona first team on April 29, 2023, in the match that ended with a 4-0 victory over Betis in the league at the age of 15, was the reason for his fame in the neighborhood, where before that he had only stood out for his adventures in the parks and squares.

“Lamine was very good, and when we played against the older boys he really shined,” said Elias, a neighbour of Yamal’s in the neighbourhood. He is two years older than Lamine and despite years having played for the Blaugrana youth team, his passes still stick in his memory. “They were like the ones he does now in the European Championship,” he said.

Lamine Yamal shines in Euro 2024

“Now in the neighborhood club, Rocafunda, there are more and more children, because they all want to be like Lamine,” said Abel Estatouet, a neighbor of Lamine Yamal, as he passed by Juan XXIII Square, where Lamine lived with his father and grandmother nearby.

Lamine Yamal is expected to play next Sunday in the European Championship final against the winner of tonight’s match between the Netherlands and England, where he could win his first title with the Spanish national team.

Meanwhile, neighbors and friends will continue to cheer him on from Rocafunda, fondly remembering his adventures as the “neighborhood boy,” as they call him, and hoping he continues to hoist “304” on the world’s best pitches.

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