Lamine Yamal admitted he was "living a dream" as he became Spain's youngest ever player and goalscorer as La Roja thrashed Georgia 7-1 on Friday to get their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign back on track.
Aged just 16 years and 57 days, Yamal has replaced his Blaugrana teammate Gavi as the youngest Spain senior international by a gap of five days.
However, he went even further as he fired the seventh goal of the rout, also overtaking Gavi who had registered his first international goal as a 17-year-old.
“I’m living a dream, I have to thank my teammates and the coach for their trust, and everyone who has helped me along the way”, said Yamal, who also qualified for Morocco on his father's side.
“I’m very satisfied and happy with the decision to play for Spain, but we have a very long road ahead in qualifying.”
Yamal is enjoying a breakthrough season at Barcelona, making four appearances so far and providing a pair of assists in the recent victory over Villarreal.
This victory, and Yamal's achievement, helped to brighten the gloom created by the ongoing saga of federation president Luis Rubiales and his kiss on the lips of women's midfielder Jenni Hermoso in the aftermath of their World Cup triumph over England in Sydney last month.
Alvaro Morata's opener in the 22nd minute was followed by Solomon Kvirkvelia's own goal. Dani Olmo then drilled the third past Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili in the 38th minute and Morata added the fourth after a slick exchange with Fabian Ruiz.
Spain were forced to change both their wingers before half-time and Yamal gratefully grabbed the chance to make history. Watford's Giorgi Chakvetadze pulled one back for Georgia before Morata completed his hat-trick, Nico Williams and Yamal completing the rout.
Naturally, all the focus was Yamal. Ahead of the game his manager Luis de la Fuente had claimed he was even better than people have yet realised.
“Lamine Yamal seemed very good to me, watching him on TV," said the coach. "But now that I’m working with him, I think he’s much better.
“He is a 16-year-old player, but the form he has on the field seems much more mature. He is a different player with a promising future."