“Better late than never” said England talisman Jude Bellingham, on his latest Instagram post, after his team’s dramatic win over the Netherlands in the second Euro 2024 semi-final. Ollie Watkins scored a superb last-minute goal, to send the Dutch packing, and keep the dream of ‘bringing it home’ alive. Away from the goals and the celebrations, a certain teenager in the middle of the park is slyly running away with the headlines. Teenage sensation Kobbie Mainoo has had a tremendous campaign at the base of midfield, carrying on from his terrific season with Manchester United.

England will face Spain in the final on Sunday. Both sides, on paper are incredibly well-rounded, with a wealth of experience and quality. But for both sides, the biggest talking points of the tournament have been their teenage superstars.

Soon to be 17-year-old livewire Lamine Yamal took the breathe away from millions watching the game, scoring an absolute scorcher in the semis against France. The Barcelona winger has been outstanding all throughout the tournament, becoming the youngest goalscorer ever in the semi finals of a major tournament. Yamal has racked up 4 goal involvements in the campaign so far, making a strong case for being named Player of the Tournament if Spain are to win Euro 2024.

Although Mainoo doesn’t fill the statsheet in the obvious ways, his impact on the team has arguably been as much as Yamal’s. The 19-year-old has completed more than 95% of his passes with a staggering dribble percentage of 98%. Incredibly composed on the ball, playing line-breaking passes and dribbling out of trouble, Mainoo has provided the England midfield a brand new dimension. In the semi final, Mainoo played more of a reserved role at the base of the midfield, winning 100% of his duels and tackles. Mainoo’s skillset has enabled Declan Rice to be more expansive with his game, bombing forward at every opportunity possible.

After a disappointing Finals loss in the last Euros, England will be determined to put in a big shift in Berlin. But on the other side, they face Spain, who have arguably been the best team to watch so far. And as mentioned above, all eyes will be on the battle of the teens, as Lamine Yamal and Kobbie Mainoo go head-to-head, vying to win their respective nations the big prize.

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