How Lamine Yamal’s former agent saved his career at Barcelona


BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Lamine Yamal of Spain in action during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Spain and Croatia at Olympiastadion on June 15, 2024 in Berlin, Germany.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

For FC Barcelona, the clear favorites to lead the team in the future are absolute. Many talented names emerged last season from their youth ranks, and they have pulled the club away from complete disarray. As time passes, FC Barcelona begin to value their talented youth more and more with each passing day.

From among the many talented youth players currently playing at Barcelona, there is a certain 16-year-old winger who clearly stands out. That particular youngster is none other than Lamine Yamal, who has already become quite the history-maker at Barcelona and with Spain as well.

While he may now be renewed, beloved by both Barcelona and his country with whom he continues to amaze at the Euros, and be considered a fundamental part of both teams moving forward, that may not have ended up happening if the player had a different agent before he signed with Jorge Mendes.

As pointed out by SPORT, before Jorge Mendes, Lamine Yamal was represented by Ivan de la Pena. The Barcelona youngster’s former agent ended up convincing the player to stay at his current club despite all the major European interest that was being flooded his way.

At the time, Yamal was nowhere near as big of a name as he is now. While he was always a talented figure within the Barcelona youth categories, it was much easier to poach him away than it would be today. Many top teams from Europe even tried to sway the Barcelona youngster and take him away from the Catalan club.

Even Bayern Munich, led by Hasan Salihamidzic at the time of those negotiations, tried to convince the player to join the Bavarian club in 2022. Interestingly, Yamal was only 14 years old at the time, and even then Bayern had an idea of what a special talent he could turn out to be.

Ultimately, Yamal ended up staying at Barcelona thanks to De la Pena’s insistence. Despite Yamal later having joined forces with Jorge Mendes in 2023, the player’s continuity at the club was a major favor done by his former agent to not just the player but also Barcelona.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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