Lamine Yamal back where it all began as he plots last-16 victory over Georgia

The 16-year-old star leads Spain’s new generation against the Georgia team he beat on his debut 10 months ago

The first time Lamine Yamal joined the Spain squad, they left his boots behind. His and everyone else’s too. When the selección touched down in Tbilisi to face Georgia in September 2023, the trunk carrying part of their kit was still sitting at Barajas, forcing them to complete the evening session at the Boris Paichadze stadium in trainers, unable to strike the ball. The following night, they scored seven. On his debut, the Barcelona winger got the last of them, aged 16 years and 57 days, and the national team got a new beginning.

Ten months on, Spain face Georgia again, this time for place in the quarter-final of Euro 2024. They are, Lamine Yamal says, the best side here but, he adds, “nothing we have done in the group phase will mean anything if we get knocked out”.

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