Barcelona prodigy finds a good mentor in Athletic Club star

Date:

GRANADA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 12: Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal of Spain inspect the pitch prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match between Spain and Cyprus at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on September 12, 2023 in Granada, Spain.
Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

With the end of the 2023-24 season, several FC Barcelona players have left the club to join their national sides for the upcoming two main events of this summer, i.e., the UEFA EURO 2024 and the 2024 Copa America.

While some of these players are established stars and are used to playing for their national teams, other Barcelona players have received only their first international call-ups for competition of such a pedigree.

Thus, for players like Lamine Yamal and Fermin Lopez, this will be a good opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience playing for their national team.

Although this will be the first big international tournament for Lamine Yamal, he has already become an important player for the Spanish national team coach, Luis de la Fuente, and has been playing in the senior Spain team for some time now.

In fact, he has already established a good partnership with one of his national team colleagues, Nico Williams, who has also been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent months. Both these players provide two exceptional wingers for Spain, and also have a flourishing bond of friendship off the field.

Nico Williams has had the fortune of having his elder brother, Inaki Williams, being there in the Athletic Club squad to guide him, and as Mundo Deportivo has reported, the former is now looking to play the role of the elder brother for Lamine Yamal. Nico himself admitted to this as he talked to the media recently:

“I try to advise him as best as I can, just as my brother has always done for me. We have a good friendship, and I try to make sure he doesn’t overthink things, stays calm, and focuses on the game. After all, he’s only 16 years old, he’s a good person and a great friend.”

The younger Williams also recognized the quality that Spain has on the wings with him and Yamal:

“There will be magnificent players in this Euro. France has great wingers, like Mbappé and Dembélé, but we don’t compare ourselves to anyone. I am Nico, and he is Lamine, and we will do our best. If we stay focused, we will do very well.”

Hopefully, this will be the case as Spain starts their EURO 2024 campaign with a match against Croatia on 15th June. With Italy and Albania the other teams in their group, Spain will need both Nico and Yamal to be at their best to be able to advance to the knock-out rounds of the tournament.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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