Barcelona have seen their fair share of legends across the years, with names like Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi evoking sentiments across the fanbase. But new stars are always on the horizon.
According to icon and Barca Atletic coach Rafa Marquez, Lamine Yamal might just be the next massive talent to illuminate Camp Nou.
Yamal has already put himself in La Liga history as the youngest goalscorer. At just 16 years and 87 days old, he became the beacon of hope for the Blaugrana as they clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit to secure a crucial point against Granada.
The young star has catapulted himself into the spotlight, and for Barca B coach Rafa Marquez, his journey has only just begun. Talking with Mundo Deportivo and comparing the youngster to Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho, Marquez said (via Barca Blaugranes):
“He belongs to that group of gifted boys who have this innate talent and who, no matter how old they are, compete in any category and make a difference. Ronaldinho, Messi… Lamine can be the next. He has all the qualities. Obviously, we have to take care of the processes because he is still a child.”
Although he is currently out with a hip injury, Yamal has played nine La Liga games for Barcelona, scoring one goal.
Lionel Messi regrets the departure of Ronaldinho from Barcelona
Lionel Messi recently revealed his sentiments regarding the departure of Ronaldinho from Camp Nou. The Brazilian legend adorned the iconic Blaugrana jersey for 207 appearances, with a return of 94 goals and 70 assists. However, he left the club in 2008.
It was a bittersweet farewell, one that the Argentine talisman recently confessed he wished could have been delayed (via Indian Express):
“What happened was ugly. He didn’t deserve that after everything he did for the club? Changing Barcelona’s history. The way he left was very strange, I wish I could have spent a couple more years with him.”
The Brazilian’s journey at Barca ended with the arrival of Pep Guardiola at the helm. While the Spanish tactician’s era ushered in an extraordinary period of success for the Catalan club, it also marked the end of Ronaldinho’s tenure in the Blaugrana colors.
The legend’s significance in Messi’s evolution as a footballer cannot be understated, as he served as a mentor and an inspiration to the young Argentine. It was also from Ronaldinho’s assist that La Pulga marked his debut goal for the Catalan club.