18-Year-Old Mexican Phenom Diego Lainez Makes LaLiga Debut With Real Betis

Lainez made a positive impact in Real Betis' last-gasp win over Girona in LaLiga.

18-year-old Mexican phenom Diego Lainez made his debut with Real Betis on Sunday following his transfer from Club América. Lainez entered the fray in the 81st minute with Betis and Girona knotted at 2-2 at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in LaLiga play.

Lainez’s introduction made him the third-youngest Mexican debutant in Europe, and his positive play on both wings during the brief cameo certainly isn’t going to slow the hype surrounding him.  

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Betis would dramatically capture all three points in the 94th minute after Sergio Canales converted a penalty that was earned by Giovani Lo Celso, but here’s every touch from Lainez on the day. 

Despite his age, slender build and height of just 5 feet 6 inches, Lainez is a joy to watch on the pitch, and legendary Mexican defender Rafa Marquez is backing the teenager for big things in Spain.

“We’ve got to give him time and be patient,” Marquez told ESPN. “Height? Ask Leo Messi, I don’t think [it’s an issue]. Without comparing [Lainez to Messi], they are the type of player that can make a difference, they are destabilizing.” 

Betis is currently seventh in LaLiga, through to the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey and drawn French side Rennes in the Europa League Round of 32. Lainez will have ample opportunity to shine over the final four months of the season. 

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