Ferran Torres: ‘Lamine Yamal should be banned for what he is doing at 16!’

The Spain forward on defying the critics at Euro 2024, his super-sub role and what he thinks of his teenage teammate

This is getting serious. Well, sometimes. Ferran Torres is sitting at the home ground of tiny SV Aasen 1928 laughing about how Lamine Yamal should be illegal, playing darts with Phil Foden and being David Villa when he is asked about the man about to stand before him and his Spain teammates. “If the last one had to go in off the post, the next one’s going to need three lots of curl on it to beat ‘Mama’,” he says. “You have to visualise it, believe it. You need a clear chance too; we were watching him last night and he’s amazing.”

Mama is Giorgi Mamardashvili, the 6ft 6in Georgia goalkeeper who has made more saves than anyone. Torres’s goal, bent past Albania’s Thomas Strakosha, completed a perfect group stage for the selección, nine points from nine and no goals conceded, although it was also the only one they’ve scored themselves since half-time in their opening game, and the margins are getting finer. “We’ve been the best team in the group phase, and that gives us confidence,” he says. “But things change now. We gave Italy a going over? In the semi-final last time we gave them a going over and we still went home then, a thorn in our side still. You can play well or badly, but now you have to win.”

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