Sneakingly trying to get your mate’s weird, older cousin to buy you a six pack of Smirnoff Ice? Nervously ‘poking’ your crush on Facebook? Or just generally being a bit of a moody, spotty mess?
All noble choices and also all experiences that Luka Romero is unlikely to have had – and not just because Smirnoff Ice is nigh-on impossible to find in Spain.
Romero made his La Liga debut for Mallorca at the tender age of just 15 years and 219 days, jogging around enthusiastically during the final 10 minutes of his side’s 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid.
Sergio Ramos scored a fine free kick to help Real Madrid to a 2-0 win over Mallorca
The jaw-dropping stat that has doing the rounds on social media is that the youngster was not even born when Lionel Messi made his La Liga bow in 2004 – but what about the man himself?
Here’s some things you may not know about Ramos, a player we are going to be hearing a lot more about in the future.
Luka Romero warming up before his debut
Born in the wonderfully name Durango City, Mexico to Argentine parents, Romero is eligible to represent both Argentina and Mexico at international level.
All signs point to him selecting La Albiceleste long term, however. Romero has already represented the country of his parents’ birth at Under 15 level, while he was set to play for the Under-17s at the Montaigu Tournament this summer – before COVID-19 led to the competition’s cancellation.
He might have a change of heart in the future, though it seems unlikely. Very unlikely in fact.
A genuinely ridiculous amount of players have been dubbed the next Messi over the years, usually with pretty disastrous results. Cases in point: Ryan Gauld, Bojan Krkic and Muhammed Demirci.
In Romero’s case though, the parallels between him and Messi are frightening.
Dodgy mullet? Check. Left-footed? Check. God given close control? Check. Making his debut on La Pulga’s 33rd birthday? Check. Perhaps the Mexican Messi is the player to break the curse?
Romero has also been compared to Manchester City’s David Silva due to his “quick, cunning, competitive” attitude, according to Mallorca assistant Dani Pendin who spoke to Estudio Estadio (via the Standard) recently.
The Romero family is blessed with an abundance of talent. Luka’s father Diego’s career has spanned three decades, starting in Argentina with Quilmes before he moved to Spain.
A meandering career around the country’s lower leagues followed and prior to COVID-19 lockdown he was still turning out for minnows Son Verí at the ripe old age of 45.
Luka also has a twin brother, Tobías, who plays as goalkeeper. Who knows, maybe the siblings will face off in a World Cup final between Argentina and Mexico in the future?
1⃣5⃣ years 2⃣1⃣9⃣ days
— 90min (@90min_Football) June 25, 2020
As if comparisons to the pair’s playing style weren’t enough, Romero could have played alongside Messi as he trialled at Barcelona aged seven.
The Blaugrana were suitably impressed with his talents as well, but his family were unwilling to relocate to Catalonia. Thus, the move was blocked as players under the age of 10 cannot be signed unless they live in an area local to the club.
This isn’t the only Barcelona connection that Romero has. If you believe the urban legend – and you probably shouldn’t to be honest – he was once spotted by Dani Alves juggling a ball on a beach.
The Brazilian was suitably impressed to ask for a kick about, imploring the crowd around the pair to take pictures of Romero, not him, as the youngster was destined to become the “new Messi.”
Seems a little too brilliant to be true, doesn’t it?
Another somewhat unbelievable fact about Romero is his goal tally at youth level.
According to a report by ESPN, he netted 230 goals in just 108 games between 2011 and 2015.
If that doesn’t make you believe the hype, nothing will.