PHOTOS OF MESSI WITH SPAIN'S EUROS HERO LAMINE YAMAL AS BABY RESURFACE

Photos of Lionel Messi with Spain's Euros hero Lamine Yamal as a baby have resurfaced after his historic goal in last night's semi-final against France

The snaps of eight-time Ballon D'Or winner Messi - widely considered the greatest footballer of all time - show him smiling as he cradles Yamal who is wrapped in a towel. 

It comes following the Barcelona prodigy's stunning 25 yard strike against France last night in Munich to become the youngest player to ever score at the Euros at the age of 16 years and 362 days. 

The wonder strike set Spain on their way to a 2-1 win over Didier Deschamps' side and booked them a place in Sunday's final - the country's first in the tournament since 2012's 4-0 triumph over Italy

The photos were taken in 2007 for a charity calendar and were posted on Instagram by Yamal's father, Mounir Nasraoui, last week with the caption: 'The beginning of two legends.'

One image shows Yamal in a blue plastic bathtub as Argentina's Messi laughs and holds a hand out to him. 

Yamal's mother crouches beside the football legend and her wide-eyed son. 

Joan Monfort, 56, took the photos at Barcelona's Camp Nou where Messi played for 17 years and made more than 500 appearances and scoring 474 goals in the process. 

Mr Monfort, who works as a freelance photographer for The Associated Press and others, said the photo shoot took place in the visitors' locker room when Yamal was just a few months old. 

Barcelona players posed with children and their families for a calendar as part of an annual charity drive by local newspaper Diario Sport and UNICEF. 

Mr Monfort was in charge of the photo shoots - and it just so happened that Messi was paired with Yamal's family. 

His mother, who is from Equatorial Guinea, is next to Messi and the baby in one of the photos. 

'We made the calendar with the help of UNICEF. So UNICEF did a raffle in the neighborhood of Roca Fonda in Mataró where Lamine's family lived. 

'They signed up for the raffle to have their picture taken at the Camp Nou with a Barca player. And they won the raffle,' Mr Monfort said.

It wasn't an easy assignment, he recalled, mainly because Messi wasn't sure how to interact with baby Yamal, who was in a plastic tub for the shoot.

'Messi is a pretty introverted guy, he's shy,' Mr Monfort said. 'He was coming out of the locker room and suddenly he finds himself in another locker room with a plastic tub full of water and a baby in it. 

'It was complicated. He didn't even know how to hold him at first.'

Messi was 20 at the time and already considered a big talent, but it would take a couple of years before he made his mark as the most outstanding player of his generation for Barcelona and Argentina

Like Messi, Yamal has gone through Barcelona's renowned La Masia youth academy. Despite his age, he's been one of Spain's best players at Euro 2024, where his team will play France in the semifinals on Tuesday. Yamal will turn 17 on Saturday, the day before the final in Berlin.

Monfort had no idea it was Yamal in those photos from 2007 until a friend messaged him as they started trending online.

He's had a long career as a sports photographer since 1991, following Barcelona around the world, but said he's never experienced this level of excitement around any of his photos.

'It's very exciting to be associated with something that has caused such a sensation,' he said. 'To tell you the truth it's a very nice feeling.'

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2024-07-10T07:50:27Z dg43tfdfdgfd