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  • Adrien Rabiot downplayed Lamine Yamal's impact at Euro 2024 before semi-final
  • Yamal hit back following the match after scoring a wondergoal in Spain's win 

Spanish wonderkid Lamine Yamal delivered a two-word message to France midfielder Adrien Rabiot after leading his side into the Euro 2024 final on Tuesday night.

Yamal sparked Spain's comeback after they fell behind to an eighth-minute Randal Kolo Muani, with the 16-year-old winger curling home an unstoppable strike from 25 yards in the 21st minute.

Four minutes later, Dani Olmo netted what proved to be the winner, but there was no doubting who the man of the moment was.

In the build-up to the last-four clash, Rabiot had attempted to downplay Yamal's impact at Euro 2024, and Yamal hit back after the final whistle.

He headed straight for the cameras, and repeated the two-word message 'speak now'.

When asked to speak about Rabiot's remarks by the media, Yamal added: 'Rabiot's words? There's no need to give importance to that.' 

However, his initial message to the cameras was seemingly a clear dig at the Frenchman.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Rabiot said: 'We saw that he [Yamal] was a player who knew how to handle pressure very well. He has a lot of qualities. He is capable of playing with his qualities at club level as well as in major tournaments, without pressure.

'Afterwards, it is always complicated to manage a semi-final in a tournament like that, but it will be up to us to put the pressure on him above all, not to let him feel comfortable and to show him that to play in a Euro final, he will have to do much more than what he has done so far.'

Yamal responded by writing on Instagram: 'Move in silence. Only speak when it's time to say checkmate'.

The teenage sensation then did his talking on the pitch, and his goal will have been even more sweeter after he twisted away from Rabiot before finding the net from range.

Yamal, who will turn 17 on Saturday, had already registered three assists in Spain's opening five matches, but this was his standout moment of the tournament as he became the youngest-ever goalscorer in Euros history.

His strike will be in contention for goal of the tournament and left France captain Kylian Mbappe speechless, as he could only nod in admiration.

Following the match, BBC pundit Rio Ferdinand called for Rabiot to thank Yamal for teaching him a lesson that he should not speak before a big game in the future.

It seems unlikely that he will have done that, but on this occasion Rabiot's words came back to haunt him as Spain moved into the final and France crashed out. 

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2024-07-09T21:54:16Z dg43tfdfdgfd