Spain's Lamine Yamal, 16: I'll quit school if we reach Euro 2024 final

Spain's Lamine Yamal, 16: I'll quit school if we reach Euro 2024 final

Updated Jun. 21, 2024 1:37 p.m. ET

School's not out for summer for Spain wunderkind Lamine Yamal, but it might be out forever if he helps his national team go all the way at Euro 2024.

Yamal has taken the tournament by storm with his sparkling performance at the tender age of 16, and has been combining his on-field exploits with online high school classes in his spare time at the team's hotel in Germany.

However, a run to the championship game for the mightily impressive Spanish, who top the FOX Sports Euro 2024 power rankings after two wins from two, would prompt the Barcelona speedster to put his academics on hold — perhaps permanently.

"If we reach the final, I won't come back," Yamal told Spanish reporters. "I'll go directly on vacation."


As important as school is, Yamal's future is pretty well set. He has already agreed a three-year contract with Barca that pays him more than $4 million per season and is expected to extend that deal again once age restrictions allow.

If another club wanted to activate a release clause, it would have to offer the Spanish club more than $1 billion to force a transfer of Yamal's rights.

For now, however, he is still diligently undertaking his lessons and homework as he progresses with his fourth-year of ESO, the last year of compulsory schooling in Spain.

"I have been watching the Euros on the sofa with my mom," Yamal said. "We are not here for a stroll, but to make history.

"I hope to go far in the Euros and I have brought my homework. I have classes on the web and I am doing well.

"Since we have a lot of free time, I don't say ‘I have to do at least two hours today.' When I am in the room and have nothing to do, I take the iPad and do a couple of hours of homework. When other players call me to play PlayStation, I go with them."

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Yamal's rise has been dramatic, forcing his way into the Barcelona lineup last season and becoming a key part of its attack, prompting a swift insertion into the national team set-up.

Initially, it seemed more likely that Yamal would play with the Spain Under-23 team at the Olympics in Paris, but such was his impact in his first forays in the national team that head coach Luis de la Fuente was left with little choice but to bring him to Germany.

Yamal started in both of Spain's wins, against Croatia and Italy, though it remains to be seen how he is used against Albania on Monday (3 p.m. ET on FS1), given that the team has already secured first place in Group B.

Spain's campaign has been built on dynamic soccer put into action by the squad's crop of imaginative young players. At 21, Nico Williams is an old-timer compared to Yamal, but in reality, he is one of the most interesting prospects in world soccer.

Williams' performance against Italy earned him a round of applause from his teammates when he returned to the locker room and his explosiveness on the left is a dangerous weapon.

The bracket brings some fascinating possibilities. This is a very different Spain unit to the one that didn't play particularly well in reaching the semis of the last Euros, and was stunned by Morocco at the World Cup.

A round of 16 clash against a third-place group finisher beckons, and while you shouldn't look too far ahead in soccer, the prospect of a quarterfinal with host nation Germany is already worth circling on the calendar.

To carry on a theme any opponent that faces Spain will surely try to do their homework on their young stars. Whether they can be stopped remains to be seen.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.


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