‘He has outdone me’: Mikel Merino upstages dad with goal 33 years later

Ángel Miguel Merino scored a memorable goal in Stuttgart in 1991 but his son’s winner for Spain has eclipsed it

“This was the only thing I had left,” Ángel Miguel Merino joked, and now even that had been taken from him, but it was worth it: in return, he was given the gift of a lifetime, a gesture of gratitude for, well, for everything. No wonder there were tears in his eyes.

There were 65 seconds of extra time remaining when his son Mikel jumped, twisted his neck and headed Spain into the semi-final of Euro 2024. At first there was, Merino Jr said, an “incredible silence”, a moment’s uncertainty when “I wasn’t aware what was happening”, and then he saw his teammates sprinting off the bench and it came to him just what he had done; what he had to do too. They embraced him and then, when they let go, he set off on a run around the corner flag.

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