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Alvaro Morata tips Spain teammate to become one of the world's best players

Morata tips Spain teammate to become one of the world's best players
© Reuters
Spain captain Alvaro Morata tips international teammate Lamine Yamal to become one of the best players in the world.

Spain captain Alvaro Morata has tipped Lamine Yamal to become one of the best players in the world.

Yamal, 16, was unsurprisingly named in the La Roja squad for Euro 2024, with the attacker enjoying a strong 2023-24 campaign for Barcelona, scoring seven goals and registering 10 assists in 50 appearances.

The forward could have an important role to play for Luis de la Fuente's side this summer, and Morata has backed his international teammate to become one of the sport's biggest stars.

"It's a pleasure to have him playing with us. He offers something different. If he is lucky and doesn't suffer major injuries, then he will be among the very best in the world, because despite being just 16 years old, he is already a step further than many others," Morata told UEFA's official website.

"He must mature, but that's normal. Sometimes it seems he isn't 16, it seems he is 23 or 24. Above all, we need to make him understand how important it is to manage matches mentally and also the fact that you sometimes need to slow down the match rather than trying to make something out of everything.

Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates scoring their first goal with Gavi on November 16, 2023© Reuters

Yamal is set to create history at Euro 2024

"He is really good at dribbling, he has a great technique, but he must help us with that by understanding that there are certain matches where the most important thing is to protect the current result."

As it stands, Kacper Kozłowski is the youngest player to feature in the finals of a European Championship, with the midfielder 17 years and 246 days old when he represented Poland against Spain in June 2021.

As a result, Yamal could create history if he features at all at the competition, which is almost certain, and he will be 16 years and 338 days old when Spain face Croatia in their Euro 2024 opener.

Atletico Madrid's Morata will also be a vital player for Spain this summer, with the 31-year-old the captain and leading goalscorer in the current squad with 35 strikes in 73 appearances.

"It's an incredibly proud feeling [to captain Spain]. My family often sends me a photo of mine of the time when Spain won the first of their last two EURO [in 2008]," he added.

Spain's Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring against Scotland on October 12, 2023© Reuters

Morata will captain Spain at Euro 2024

"I was out in a square full of people celebrating the title, and you always think it's a dream when you start playing for Spain to one day be amongst the top scorers, or to be the captain. I've achieved both those things, step by step.

"Every time I hear the anthem and I wear the [captain's] armband it is unbelievable. I only try to help my team-mates, make sure they're happy but also drum into them that a competition like this is all about very small details. We're not here on holiday, and this month is about working hard.

"We are here to win. The last time we were defeated at the semi-finals, the previous one in the round of 16. We have been making great improvements, and winning a EURO is difficult, but we have a great team and a fantastic group. We know we will face some difficulties, we know it won't be easy, but we are ready for it."

Spain will begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Croatia on June 15, before tackling Italy and Albania on June 20 and June 24 respectively.

La Roja are three-time winners of the European Championship, including in 2008 and 2012, while they reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020, losing on penalties to eventual winners Italy.

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Spain's Lamine Yamal celebrates scoring their first goal with Gavi on November 16, 2023
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