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Teenage star Yusuf Demir becomes Barcelona’s youngest foreign LaLiga debutant since Lionel Messi

Teenage star Yusuf Demir becomes Barcelona’s youngest foreign LaLiga debutant since Lionel Messi in 2004… after 18-year-old came off the bench in Athletic Bilbao draw

  • Barca’s Yusuf Demir made history coming off the bench against Athletic Bilbao
  • The 18-year-old replaced Martin Braithwaite in the second half of the 1-1 draw
  • He became the youngest foreign player to play for Barca in LaLiga since Messi 

Yusuf Demir became the youngest foreign player to play for Barcelona in LaLiga since Lionel Messi on Saturday. 

The 18-year-old came off the bench to replace Martin Braithwaite in the second half of the Catalan’s 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.

It was the winger’s first appearance for Barcelona since joining the club on an initial loan deal that includes the option to buy for £9million this summer.     

Yusuf Demir became the youngest foreign player to play for Barcelona in LaLiga since Messi

At 18 years and 80 days old, Demir has become the youngest foreign player to feature for Barcelona in LaLiga in almost 17 years. 

The previous record-holder was Messi, who made his LaLiga debut for Barcelona in October 2004 at the age of 17 years and 114 days.

The 18-year-old came on to replace Martin Braithwaite in their 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao

The 18-year-old came on to replace Martin Braithwaite in their 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao

Messi made his debut for the club in October 2004 at the age of 17 years and 114 days (above)

Messi made his debut for the club in October 2004 at the age of 17 years and 114 days (above)

Ronald Koeman believes Demir’s exposure to the top-flight at such a young age will benefit him and allow him to adapt to the standard of football that is played. 

Speaking after the game, Koeman said: ‘Demir has had a hard time in the big San Mames stadium because he’s still very young.

‘But it is very good for him to have made his debut here to begin to adapt to football of this level.’ 

Ronald Koeman believes Demir's (left) exposure to the top-flight at such a young age will benefit him and allow him to adapt to the standard of football that is played

Ronald Koeman believes Demir’s (left) exposure to the top-flight at such a young age will benefit him and allow him to adapt to the standard of football that is played

Having been dubbed as the ‘Austrian Messi’, Demir was spotted in the Austrian Bundesliga  – having made his debut in 2019 and gone on to feature 38 times.  

As a result, he was handed his first cap for Austria in March – coming off the bench during their 3-1 win over Faroe Islands in 2022 World Cup qualifiers. 

He was subsequently signed by Barcelona – who agreed on an initial loan deal that includes the option to buy. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk