Luka Romero’s journey: From becoming LaLiga’s youngest ever player to scoring two wonder goals in UD Almeria’s draw with Atleti

February 27 2024

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All four of the goals in UD Almeria and Atletico de Madrid’s 2-2 draw in Matchday 26 were scored by Argentinian players, although teenager Luka Romero is at a very different stage of his career compared to World Cup champions Angel Correa and Rodrigo de Paul.

The 19-year-old winger scored two terrific goals, one from outside the area when tightly marked by multiple defenders and another from inside the box with a powerful blast past Jan Oblak. That earned earn the bottom-placed team in LaLiga EA Sports a valuable point, in what was his first start since arriving on loan from AC Milan in the winter transfer window.

Yet, Luka is no stranger to LaLiga. In fact, he holds the record as the youngest ever player to play in Spanish football’s top flight. He earned that honor when he debuted for RCD Mallorca, whose academy he spent most of his youth career in, in a game against Real Madrid in 2020, aged just 15 years and 219 days. At that moment, he broke a record that had been held by Sanson of RC Celta since 1939.

Having reached the top level at such a young age, clubs across Europe engaged in a battle to try to sign the young talent. It was Lazio who succeeded in prizing the young winger away from RCD Mallorca in 2021 and, after 21 appearances across two seasons, AC Milan swooped in to sign him last summer. Despite making an impact in pre-season, facing Real Madrid once again and scoring a beautiful outside-the-box goal, Luka hardly played for I Rossoneri. That led him to a January loan back to Spain, where he hopes to show what he can do at the Power Horse Stadium.

Despite being still so young, this is a player who has already experienced so much in life. Luka was born to Argentinian parents in Durango City in Mexico, before moving to Spain at a young age because of his father, Diego Romero, and his professional football career. His father’s career took the family to Formentera in the Balearic Islands, where the youngster caught the eye of the local scouts and joined RCD Mallorca’s academy in 2015, at the age of 10.

In an interview with LaLiga, Luka explained how his father’s experiences in football helped him. He said: “That influenced me quite a lot because my father would bring me to training sessions or to his matches from a young age, which I liked. I would go into the dressing rooms and learn about everything. You start understanding the role of a footballer. Even when they lost I would still go in, although I didn’t like that. But, it was good experience.”

Given that his twin brother, Tobias Romero, also plays football, in his case as a goalkeeper, Luka has certainly lived and breathed the sport throughout his 19 years. Still learning and developing his skills, and working out whether he performs better on the wing or as a more central attacking midfielder, he hopes to make it to the Argentina senior squad alongside the likes of Ángel Correa and Rodrigo de Paul, with whom he shared the scoreboard on Saturday night. Although he could also have represented Spain or Mexico, Luka’s dream is to play for La Albiceleste and he is currently at U20 level.

His U20 coach is Javier Mascherano and the former FC Barcelona player has regularly praised Luka’s skills and attitude, while calling for patience too. In the words of the coach: “Luka is a great player, and there is a reason why he made his debut aged 15 at RCD Mallorca. We mustn’t forget that he is a young boy. We have to support him so that he can have a good career, hopefully at the European level and with the national team.”

His club coach, Gaizka Garitano, is similarly urging caution. After the draw against Atlético de Madrid, Garitano said of Luka: “We are going little by little, as he hadn’t played for a long time yet he is adapting very well. He has trained really well since he has been here and today he helped us. He had a very good game.”

It has been a good start at the Power Horse Stadium. From here until the end of the season, Luka Romero will hope to earn more starts and more minutes to continue demonstrating the natural talent that led him to become LaLiga’s youngest ever player and UD Almería’s latest hope.


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