They're among the few remaining players playing for their respective sides in the and Euro 24 semi-finals. But they also share a special Blaugrana connection. Lamine Yamal was six months old when he met 20-year-old phenom . The incredible moment goes down as one of the more majestic football stories.

The two gathered in December 2007 for Barcelona's annual charity calendar shoot, which paired Blaugrana footballers with infants. The club and the daily Spanish sports newspaper Diario Sport organized the shoot, and all proceeds were gifted to local charities, including UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund). The agency's logo appeared on the iconic Blaugrana jerseys from 2006 before the club adopted corporate sponsors in 2011.

Rumors circulated two years ago that the 6-month-old baby Messi held in the viral photograph was the emerging starlet Lamine Yamal. But no one was able to prove the accuracy to this day. That's because Yamal's father, Mounir Nasraoui, confirmed the image's facticity in an Instagram post last Thursday with the caption, “El comienzo de dos leyendas” or “The beginning of two legends.”

Legends, indeed. Messi won his first Champions League title at Barca during the 2005/06 season. In 2009, the then 22-year-old won his first Ballon d'Or after the famous “Treble” season under coach Pep Guardiola. He's won seven more Ballon d'Or awards and 28 major trophies, including the elusive World Cup title since. He could make it a 29th should repeat as Copa America champions this summer.

Meanwhile, La Masia graduate and teen sensation Lamine Yamal became the youngest-ever starter in the Champions League knockout stages last season. At 16, the winger is playing a vital role in Spain's success at this summer's Euro. The golden boy leads the with three assists while Spain sits on the cusp of its fourth Euros title.

The photographer made history that day when Messi met Yamal. The moment is, perhaps, a passing of the baton. But is it destiny? Remember: the most ridiculous outcome is the most likely. 🤷

Photo: Instagram/hustle_hard_304