“Unable to drink, smoke, drive, or vote. But capable of bending a football into the top corner on the grandest stage in a generation. This moment, perhaps, belongs to him—Lamine Yamal Nasraoui Ebana, son of Sheila from Equatorial Guinea and Mounir from Morocco, raised in Rocafonda, Mataró, postcode 08304. Forward, left, right, left again. And then, that unforgettable moment that propelled a nation into a final and heralded a new era.

On the eve of the semi-final, Adrien Rabiot cautioned that the fourth-year schoolboy arriving in Germany with homework, exams, and a Euros to conquer, who had created more chances and assists than anyone, would need to deliver “more” for Spain to surpass France.

Would this suffice? No one had breached France in 525 minutes—until he did, almost a mirror of the last time he faced them a year ago in the under-17s. No one had ever done it at his age. Confronted by a French midfielder—hello Adrien—Lamine Yamal sidestepped, left Rabiot trailing, and curled a stunning strike past Mike Maignan. The stadium erupted; he raced to the bench, sliding to his knees, a moment of surreal elation.

“What Lamine achieves should be illegal,” teammate Ferran Torres once remarked. In fact, like drinking, smoking, driving, and voting, it possibly is. Rumors circulated about German labor laws barring minors from work after 8 pm. Athletes are exceptions, but even they’re limited till 11 pm. Spain’s coach Luis de la Fuente joked about substituting him if necessary, which wasn’t needed. No extra time ensued, and Lamine Yamal departed to a standing ovation, three minutes from full time, having etched his name in history.

At 16 years and 362 days, his opening goal—a breathtaking golazo—made him the youngest scorer at a Euros or World Cup, eclipsing Pelé by eight months. Pelé, of all people. Who else might he surpass in the years ahead?

Lamine Yamal’s coach dubbed him ‘touched by God,’ nearly. This week, old photos resurfaced from a calendar by Catalan newspaper Sport, Barcelona’s foundation, and Unicef back in 2007, not as distant as it seems, with first-teamers posing with local kids.

In one photo, snapped in Camp Nou’s locker room, a young Lionel Messi helps bathe a tiny infant, not even six months old. The baby? Lamine Yamal, naturally.

Of course? The photographer hadn’t a clue: Joan Monfort recalled Messi’s bashfulness, the rubber ducky, and his plastic tub, but Lamine Yamal’s dad revealed the identity on Instagram. It was a million-to-one shot. Or, if you prefer, destiny, a blessing, this child as the chosen one. “The start of two legends,” Mounir noted. In Munich, it felt like one.

Where might Lamine Yamal end up? Johan Vonlanthen, whose record he eclipsed, is now a Seventh-Day Adventist priest in Colombia—but Lamine Yamal seems destined for something extraordinary. Perhaps Kylian Mbappé sensed it too, exchanging quiet words before kick-off. For now, he’s set a record likely never to be broken, heading into Berlin’s final the day after turning 17. If he never kicks another ball, he’s already achieved what most never will.

The hard way. A few hours after Rabiot’s caution, Lamine Yamal quietly posted on Instagram. “Move in silence; only speak when it’s time to say checkmate.” This wasn’t checkmate, not yet. And it wasn’t solely about him: Spain’s team had stellar performances across the board. But they needed this. Trailing, under pressure, Mbappé surging, and Jesús Navas exposed, Spain seemed in trouble.

Then, with a flash of that left foot you’ll see often, everything changed. Three minutes later, Dani Olmo secured a brilliant second—and yes, it’s rightfully his, no matter what they say. There was still time and tension to navigate—handled with remarkable composure by La Roja—but Lamine Yamal had shaped their destiny. Nine minutes from the end, he nearly did it again, a superb effort narrowly missing, and at 10:50 pm, ten minutes before curfew, he was substituted, job done.

As he circled the pitch, seconds ticking away, the stadium rose in applause. Decades from now, they’ll boast they witnessed Lamine Yamal’s arrival. Eventually, he reached the bench, collapsed exhausted, embraced by teammates, and the final whistle blew. They had completed what the 16-year-old had begun. Checkmate.”