The 16-year-old has Ansu Fati been making headlines ever since his debut for Spanish giants FC Barcelona. Only recently, the teenager became the youngest player to score for the Catalan club in the Spanish domestic league, showing glimpses of a promising future. With legends of the game present all around him, the ascent to the top will only be a matter of time.
Fati joined Sevilla’s academy at the tender age of eight but two years later, despite interest from many clubs, ended up at La Masia. Hailing from Guinea-Bissau, an African nation where even making ends meet is a luxury, a career in football is a far-fetched dream at best. But the charismatic youngster played his cards right and landed up in Spain.
He became one of the youngest players to enter Barcelona’s youth academy, and his innate talent was on display right from the start. The youth system worked wonders for him as he turned his rather lanky physique to a strong muscular one.
His cheetah-like speed and phenomenal dribbling skills were left little to the imagination of coaches who clearly envisioned the havoc he could create when paired with Lionel Messi upfront. Just like the great Argentinian, Fati also possesses the ability to win one-on-one duels with ease, and coupled with his spectacular vision, he’s helping strikers like Luis Suarez gain control of the game.
Barcelona must be proud to have produced a world-class player from their own academy, but at the same time, the Catalan giants shouldn’t ignore the fact that their beloved future star still needs polishing. Making his debut for the senior team in the 2019-20 season, Fati was often called out for his poor decision-making skills.
He’s blessed with an abundance of time at his disposal to learn but needs to do it quickly before the Camp Nou loyalists turn their heads away. Nevertheless, he has quickly ascended to a most favoured spot among his fans, with some already petitioning to start him over Luis Suarez!
The failure of Neymar’s return to Barcelona this season has boded well for the youngster. He received a raucous reception from the crowd in his first five appearances in the domestic league, courtesy of his spellbinding performances. He already has two goals and an assist to his name and Fati has made his place in the first team.
His most notable performance came in Barcelona’s hard-earned 2-1 victory over Villarreal. Although the youngster didn’t score any goals, the amount of sheer pace he injected into the game was almost criminal. He created a lot of opportunities for Antoine Griezmann and left the Yellow Submarine defenders gasping for breath. His link-up play with Frenkie de Jong and Arthur Melo in the midfield enhances Barcelona’s style of play and brings the much-needed speed that the fans have been longing for.
Fati took just two games to announce his arrival at the Camp Nou when he scored his debut goal against Osasuna in a 2-2 draw. Barcelona are in possession of a gold mine but the only thing they need to look out for is someone to polish the shine, so it could ease the struggles of their faltering Champions League encounters.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Pau Berrena