Currently the youngest player to have set foot on La Liga, 15-year-old Luka Romero made his professional debut as he entered the match on Wednesday against Real Madrid in the 83rd minute.
“It was an unforgettable moment,” the long-haired Romero said. “Thanks to the entire coaching staff and to Mallorca for giving me this opportunity. I’ll never forget this day.”
“Going at 3,000 kph,” said Mallorca coach Vicente Moreno, who touched Romero’s chest.
Given out a nickname by local media as the “new Messi” and the “Mexican Messi,” Romero along with his first step on the pitch broke an 80-year-old league record.
The attacking midfielder was born in Mexico of Argentine parents — just a few weeks younger than Francisco “Sansón” Bao Rodríguez from when he set the age record after debuting with Celta Vigo in back in the 1939-1940 season.
“I was just trying to keep him calm,” Mallorca coach Moreno said.
“We can’t forget that he is just a kid. Imagine what was going through the mind of a 15-year-old kid at that time.”
Romero got first touch on the ball a few minutes after coming off the bench and didn’t look his age while on the field, yet Mallorca have fallen 2-0 against Real Madrid.
“He did well in the three actions in which he was involved, he was aggressive,” Moreno said. “He is very smart and knows how to execute what we ask from him. He has personality. He was nervous, of course, but he will keep growing. I’m happy for him.”
Romero was already an option on the bench in Mallorca’s draw against Leganés yet he wasn’t played.
“He had been doing well in the training sessions,” Moreno said. “He deserved this opportunity.”
Romero’s debut made headlines back in Argentina on Thursday, with the sports daily Olé putting him on its front page along with the headline “Another Flea!” — a reference to Messi’s nickname.
Luka Romero has already played a few matches for Argentina youth squads and is expected to stick with Messi’s national team instead of Mexico.