• Profile

Luka Romero – ‘Mexican Messi’

Luka Romero - 'Mexican Messi'
Credit: Twitter/LaLiga
Advertisement

Meet Luka Romero, the 15-year-old that became the youngest debutant in La Liga history against Real Madrid and is already known as ‘Mexican Messi’.

Full Name:Luka Romero Bezzana
Nickname:Mexican Messi, New Messi
Born:November 18, 2004
Birthplace:Durango City, Mexico
Height:1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Clubs:Sant Jordi, RCD Mallorca
National team:Argentina (uncapped)
Position:Attacking midfielder
Major Titles:N/A

RCD Mallorca gave a good account of themselves against Real Madrid on Wednesday, despite losing 2-0. But while the result didn’t go to plan, history was made in the form of Luka Romero.

The 15-year-old surpassed Celta Vigo’s Sanson (1939/40, 15 years & 255 days) as La Liga’s youngest debutant at 15 years and 219 days old.

He came on as a substitute for Iddrisu Baba in the 83th-minute at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium, smiling broadly as manager Vicente Moreno gave him his instructions. And who could blame him? Not only did he make his senior debut, but he also smashed the record books.

The teenager’s feat in Madrid will only fuel the growing comparisons between himself and Lionel Messi, who many believe share a similar playing style. It doesn’t hurt Romero plays for the Argentina national team at youth level either.

But make no mistake, this is Luka Romero and he plans to make his own mark in the football world.

So just who is this youngster from Mallorca? And what lies ahead for him? Here on Ronaldo.com, we give you everything there is to know about him.

Career story so far…

Born on November 18, 2004, in the Mexican city of Durango, Luka Romero moved to Cordoba in Spain just three years later with his Argentine parents. The family uprooted again to the Balearic Islands when Luka was just seven; unknowingly starting his football journey.

The teenager’s father, Diego Adrian Romero, has played football himself in Spain for the last 11 years. This undoubtably paved the way for Luka and his goalkeeper brother, Tobias, to enter football.

Before signing for Mallorca, however, Luka had a successful trial at Barcelona. But a move to the famed La Masia academy didn’t materialise as the seven-year-old didn’t live in Catalonia.

Nonetheless, Romero’s career has moved leaps and bounds ever since at Mallorca. He already stands out, having got special permission to train with the first-team as a minor and for the Messi comparisons.

It took the 15-year-old just 11 days of training with the senior squad to convince Moreno to include him in the Mallorca squad against Villarreal on June 16.

And while Romero didn’t feature in the 1-0 defeat, the teenager’s wait only lasted another five days.

Rumour now has it that Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus and Atletico Madrid are all interested in signing him.

Argentina fans, meanwhile, hold high hopes for Romero as a Messi successor. The teen has already decided to don the famous blue and white jersey of La Albiceleste; despite being eligible for Mexico and Spain.

Position and playing style

The Mexican-born Argentine is an attacking midfielder with many similarities to Lionel Messi. For one, they are short in stature and left-footed. Both players also relish close ball control and dribbling past opponents.

Incidentally, Romero’s historic La Liga debut came on the day of Messi’s 33rd birthday.

Mallorca assistant coach Dani Pendin elaborated: “Luka is left-footed, quick, cunning, competitive. He has that prototype of the Argentine number 10.

“He has a lot of conditions, he reminds me a lot of David Silva.”

But as former coach Alejandro Sagesse wisely pointed out, Romero is still a young lad trying to make his own mark.

“The word is caution,” warned Sagesse.

“We are talking about a kid of 15 years old. Does he play well? Yes, but his document says Luka Romero, not Lionel Messi.

“He has to write his own story.”

Unfortunately, Romero will probably have to learn to live with the Messi comparisons like Mallorca teammate Takefusa Kubo, who is nicknamed ‘Japanese Messi’.

But the next big question about Romero will not be on Messi, but on where his career takes him next. Mallorca will no doubt want to tie him down to a contract once he turns 16 in November.

As interest grows in Romero and the club’s growing danger of relegation, however, they may have a fight on their hands to keep the youngster. It should be interesting.

Feature image credits belong to LaLiga.