A remarkable Photo (of interest to soccer fans)

This photo was taken in 2007. Barcelona decided to raise money for charity by producing a calendar featuring some of their players with babies and a competition was held among fans to decide the babies.

The mother of one of the winners was a waitress with no history of footballers in the family, the player chosen was 20 year old Lionnel Messi just establishing himslef as a first team regular. The odds at the time that Messi would go on to win 9 Ballon d’Or and (arguably) be the best player of his generation was long but not remarkably so.

What is amazing is the photo contains two people who would set the world alight breaking football records for both Barcelona and their country. For the baby is Lamine Yamal, who is still only 16 but has already become among other things:

  • The youngest starter for Barcelona
  • The youngest player to record an assist
  • The youngest to score for Barcelona and in La Liga,
  • The youngest player to score a brace in La Liga and first player ever to achieve this record under the age of 17.
  • The second youngest player to feature in the champions League
  • The youngest player named in a starting line-up in the champions league
  • The youngest player to play in the knockout phase of the champions league.
  • One of only 3 Spanish Players to make 3 assists in the same edition of the European Championship (and he could break that record on Sunday)
  • The youngest goalscorer in the history of the Euros by a margin of more than a year

The Odds that Yamal will be the greatest player of his generation are now very low indeed.

Amazing! I’ve seen video of the kid playing.

A friend who is a retired NHL official saw Mario Lemieux play when he was a teenager and knew that one day he’d be a star.

I’m guessing you have that backward.

I hope you’re right, otherwise I am very confused.

I watch lots of Real Madrid matches on a channel devoted to the team. Watching them play Barcelona was funny, because the announcers, who favor Real Madrid, were going gaga over Yamal.

Low Odds means an event is likely to happen in the eyes of a bookmaker and therefore you will make little profit if you bet on such an event.

The probability of a baby, the son of a Barcelona supporting waitress with no history of playing professional football in the family being the best the footballer of their generation is likely to be 1 in hundreds of millions (high odds)

Now the probability of Yamal being the best player of his generation is probably less than 1 in 10 (low odds)

Maybe I should have said the odds were now very short, would that have made things clearer?

What is a brace? I don’t recall coming across this word in the context of football/ soccer.

Scoring 2 goals in a game.
Scoring 3 goals in a game is called a hat-trick

I don’t know that talking about odds in a betting sense is going to be well understood by a lot of people who don’t regularly bet. But long vs. short odds people will understand, even if high vs. low aren’t quite as common.

I think most who read that interpreted it as probability not the literal odds (probability of it happening divided by probability of it not happening). I mean, I understand odds, but it’s been since about 8th grade since I last actually dealt with them.