Barcelona wonderkid, Lamine Yamal, has vowed to follow in the footsteps of his “idol” Lionel Messi by becoming a Golden Boy winner of the future.
The prestigious prize, which is handed out to the best player under the age of U21 in world football, was presented to Argentine icon Messi back in 2005.
He has gone on to collect eight Ballons d’Or since then and is, while playing his club football at MLS side Inter Miami, now the most decorated player of all-time.
Yamal has stepped out of the same La Masia academy system in Catalunya.
He told Tuttosport of eyeing up his own Golden Boy trophy after being awarded ‘The Youngest’ honour in 2023 – having made a star-studded shortlist at just 16 years of age:
“It’s an important award.
“The first I’ve received on an international level.
“I’d like to win the real one, the absolute best.
“I know about it, I saw who won it, even Messi.
“I would like to be on that roll of honour.
“Sooner or later I’ll see you in Turin, I promise.”
Real Madrid and England star Jude Bellingham has added the Golden Boy award to his Kopa Trophy in 2023, but Yamal is among the next in line.
He has high hopes for the future, with Barca legend Messi having always been a source of inspiration to him.
The talented teenager added: “He is my idol.
“He always has been, he continues to be now that I play for Barcelona.
“Also, he inspired me. I have never had another idol.
“I once took a photo with him, I was unknown. Maybe one day I will be like him”.