Lamine Yamal has taken the world by storm

The 21 players at Euro 2024 who made their debuts before Lamine Yamal was born

Lamine Yamal was born in July 2007 and will be the youngest player to feature at Euro 2024 – being just 16 years old when the tournament kicks off.

The Barcelona academy product has taken the world by storm this year and we couldn’t be more excited to see him in action for Spain this summer.

To illustrate just how young Yamal is, we’ve managed to find 21 players at Euro 2024 who made their professional debuts before Yamal was born.


The Portuguese defender is by far the oldest player at Euro 2024 and is 25 years senior of Yamal. If Spain do come up against Portugal, Pepe vs Yamal could be box-office viewing.

He made his professional debut for Maritimo B back in 2001, six years before the Spanish winger had been born.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Yamal will need to score 44 goals per season for the next 20 campaigns if he wants to catch up to Ronaldo’s career goal tally.

His chances of doing that seem slim, but the 16-year-old certainly has the potential to follow in the footsteps of someone like Ronaldo.

CR7 made his professional debut for Sporting aged 16 back in 2002, long before Yamal had even been born.

Manuel Neuer

The German goalkeeper has been playing at the top level since 2005 and is still going strong today, that’s quite the achievement.

Luka Modric

Football’s very own Benjamin Button. Even at the ripe old age of 38, Modric is still capable of dictating football matches at the very highest level.

He started his professional career way back in 2003 and is still playing at the highest level today. That sort of longevity can only be applauded.

Jesus Navas

The Spanish star is Sevilla’s all-time top appearance maker and will no doubt have some words of wisdom for Yamal this summer.

It’s crazy to think that both players will be playing alongside each other at the tournament, given Navas made his professional debut four years before Yamal was born.

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Giorgi Loria

The 38-year-old Georgian goalkeeper has been playing professionally since 2005. Having racked up over 70 caps for his country, he’s in the top 10 for most Georgia appearances.

Kasper Schmeichel

Learning that Schmeichel is now 37 years old has suddenly made us feel very old. It only seemed like yesterday that he was the new kid on the block at Manchester City.

However, having made his professional debut all the way back in 2006, he’s now one of the oldest players heading to Euro 2024.

Olivier Giroud

Euro 2024 will be the last dance for Giroud as the Frenchman is set to retire from international football after the tournament.

Still going strong at 37, you’ve got to respect that kind of longevity. He started his career with Grenoble in 2005 and is still kicking it, almost two decades later.

Jan Vertonghen

Still playing today aged 37, Vertonghen is the oldest player in Belgium’s Euro 2024 squad. The former Tottenham defender made his professional debut back in 2006 – one year before Yamal had been born.

Peter Pekarik

The 37-year-old Slovakia international made his professional debut all the way back in 2004 for Zilina. He’s been on the books at Hertha BSC since 2012 and is more than twice the age of Yamal.

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Juraj Kucka

Kucka will also bring a wealth of experience to Slovakia this summer. He’s been playing professionally since 2006 and has racked up over 100 appearances for Slovakia in that time.

Kamil Grosicki

Fondly remembered for his time at Hull City, it’s nice to see Grosicki still going strong today. The 36-year-old bagged 13 goals in the Ekstraklasa last season and still has the quality to make an impact on the international stage.

He began his career one year before Yamal was born and has racked up over 650 appearances for club and county during that time.

Florin Nita

The experienced Romanian goalkeeper made his debut for Concordia Chiajna back in 2006 as a fresh-faced 19-year-old. Now aged 37, he’ll get the chance to go to his first ever major international tournament.

Guram Kashia

With 113 international appearances under his belt, Kashia holds the record as the most-capped Georgian player of all time.

He also started his professional career with Dinamo Tbilisi back in 2006, a whole year before Yamal was born which puts into perspective how long he’s been going.

Rui Patricio

He’s no longer Portugal’s first-choice goalkeeper, but Patricio is still heading to Euro 2024 as one of the backup options for Porto’s Diogo Costa.

Believe it or not, Patricio’s professional career started all the way back in 2006 and he’s still going strong today.

Domagoj Vida

Croatia have one of the oldest squads at Euro 2024 with an average age of 27.7. Vida is one of the most experienced heads in their dressing room with over 100 caps for his country.

The 35-year-old made his professional debut when he was just 17 years old playing for Osijek. Having won plenty of trophies along the way, he’s enjoyed quite the career up until this point.

Dusan Tadic

The Serbian attacking midfielder made his first professional appearance for Serbian side Vojvodina back in 2006 as an 18-year-old.

Fast forward to 2024 as he’s still an integral player for both club and country. He’s coming off the back of a good campaign with Fenerbahce and will fancy his chances of making an impact at Euro 2024.

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski is the only player on this entire list who has had the chance to play alongside Yamal at club level. The Polish international is more than double Yamal’s age and made his senior debut one year before his teammate was born.

“Lamine has played very good football this season, he is a star who is only 16 years old. He probably wants to play 10, 12 or more years in football, I have experience and I want to help him with the mentality,” Lewandowski told Mundo Deportivo.

“And for the mentality now it is very important to have your feet on the ground thinking about the long term. Lamine has a great future. I have a connection with him.”

Robert Lewandowski of Poland celebrates his scoring during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers Group G match between Poland and Slovenia at PGE National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland on November 19, 2019.

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Axel Witsel

Now aged 35, this will surely be Witsel’s final chance to lift the Euros with Belgium. He’s been playing professionally since 2006 and having made 51 appearances for Atletico Madrid last season, he’s still got some life left in him yet.

Matteo Darmian

We simply refuse to believe that Darmian has been playing professional football since 2006, but here we are. He made his professional debut at the age of 16 for AC Milan and is still playing at the top level today.

Andriy Yarmolenko

The Ukrainian winger started his career with Desna Chernihiv back in 2006 and he made 10 senior appearances for the club before he was picked up by Dynamo Kyiv.

The 34-year-old is by no means a spring chicken, but still has the quality to cut the mustard for Ukraine.