Ansu Fati: Who is Barcelona 16-year-old with 100m euro release clause?

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By Andy West
Spanish soccer writer
Ansu Fati… in case you have never heard of Barcelona’s new celebrity, you’ll be forgiven: before a couple of weeks back, neither had the vast majority of the Spanish club fans.
However, the 16 year-old has been thrust into the limelight after manufacturing history on Saturday, becoming the youngest participant in La Liga background to register an assist and a goal in exactly the game.
He needed just seven minutes to do this within his team demolition of Valencia. Just 110 minutes had elapsed when he opened the scoring by assembly Frenkie de Jong’s low cross with a confident right-footed attack from 12 metres; five minutes after , he returned the favour by clipping his way to the box and picking out a precise overhaul for De Jong to convert.
Fati continued to thrill the Nou Camp crowd that was 80,000-plus with a series of skilful coming close to more targets, thrusts down the left wing and making it clear this teenager is well poised for greatness.
So, that is he and where did his explosion on to the scene come from?
Fati was born 30 October 2002 in Guinea-Bissau, also spent the first six years of his life from the African country before going to Herrera, a very small town in southern Spain, after his father Bori – a former semi-professional footballer in Guinea-Bissau – found work as a driver to the town’s mayor.
Initially, Ansu had been outshone by his brother Braima, that had been signed by the academy of Sevilla. However, Ansu joined him before long, and by 2010 shooting talents and his dribbling had attracted serious attention from the big guns of Spain.
According to Bori in a recent radio interview on RAC1, the best financial deal came in Real Madrid – however Barcelona made more attempt, together with then-academy director Albert Puig (now at New York City FC) making a personal trip to the household to say the Catalan club case. Barca offered in their famous La Masia childhood complex, so the Fati family headed to Barcelona.
Ansu and braima – that were united at La Masia by younger brother Miguel – continued to impress, even though they were briefly sidelined in 2014. (Even the Fati brothers had moved from inside Spain so they weren’t directly implicated, but the club temporarily removed them in the point of fire just as a preventative measure).
Ansu had yet another setback in 2015 if he suffered a broken legbut his progress would not be hindered and last season he was among those celebrities of the Uefa Youth League, scoring twice in the semi-final against Chelsea but watching his group pumped out on penalties.
His goal-laden performances to the youth group were rewarded with a for the team’s reserve team, which competes within Spain Segunda B Division. So Ansu’s first taste of professional football, in March this year, came in a distinctly underwhelming manner: an unused replacement for the 1-0 victory of Barca B at Ebro in front.
In the Nou Camp, Fati was a thousand miles apart from football at that point. But then came.
When the club stunned by accepting a offer, the first real sign of exactly how the talents of Fati were considered by tremendously Barca came in July.
The day after Simons’ passing, Barca responded by handing Fati a fresh three-year contract with an eye-watering release clause of 100m euros, sending out a very clear message to sailors: among La Masia’s crown jewels had been stolen, but Simons would be the only person to slip away.
Nevertheless, Fati was expected to pay this year continued to play for the youth group – currently handled by former goalkeeper Victor Valdes – together with occasional bonus excursions for Barca B, and he was not contained in the senior group’s pre-season excursions to Japan and the United States.
Fati was not even considered for choice in Barca’s season opener against Athletic Bilbao, however when that game led to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele distress injuries, joining skipper Lionel Messi in the sidelines, manager Ernesto Valverde was suddenly left with a severe shortage of numbers in attack and predicted Fati into the group for its home opener against Real Betis.
The 16-year-old made it and, together with his team leading 5-1 along with the match won, was released as a substitute for the final 10 minutes. Fati instantly looked in the home, making some touches onto the wing and earning a congratulatory embrace that was post-match from Messi.
The next weekend was come by better. By phoning Fati from the seat during the 20, with Barca tracking Valverde responded. The conclusion was vindicated within seven minutes, as Fati rose to meet a cross from Carles Perez using a slip header into the corner, even getting the youngest goalscorer of Barca.
Observing the deadline-day passing to Celta Vigo of Rafinha – starter from the two matches – Fati received another advertising to Saturday’s visit of Valencia from Valverde, being elevated for the very first time into the starting line-up.
Before you anticipate seeing Fati starring at the Nou Camp on a weekly basis, but there is a clear message from within the club: slow down.
The reality is because Dembele, Suarez and Messi have been out that Fati has just been able to appreciate his meteoric rise to the team. When they are fit, the youngster will reduce his position. In reality, that has already occurred: Fati was removed for Suarez, who immediately indicated his return from injury with 2 brilliantly accepted goals after an hour on Saturday.
And in the aftermath of Fati’s electrifying total introduction, there were plenty of words of warning. Valverde emphasised the value of”our task to protect the participant”, while defender Clement Lenglet added:”We must be calm with him. He needs to listen to people and work hard, as playing for Barca is extremely hard.”
Regardless of the teenager’s leading start to the campaign, it remains the case that Barca’s first-choice ahead this season will probably likely be Messi, Suarez and Antoine Griezmann, and the most Fati can aspire to do will be competing with Dembele for its standing of first-choice back-up.
And that might be a battle. Valverde hasn’t been really convinced by Dembele, who is supremely gifted and frustratingly inconsistent in equal measure, also pundit Michael Robinson came down in Fati’s favour during his television comment on Saturday’s game against Valencia, celebrating:”Fati about the pitch already looks more adult than Dembele.”
Fati certainly looks the part. He plays on the left wing (he wore the number 11 shirt in Barca’s childhood groups ), cutting on to run at defenders or take with his more powerful right foot. However, he’s also comfortable using his foot, also demonstrated by his aid for De Jong on Saturday, also at 5ft 10in he’s a framework and offers a excellent aerial threat, as exhibited by his outstanding headed target at Osasuna.
The fact Fati has scored a header, a goal with his right foot along with an assist along with his left foot after only two hours of senior soccer is a neat indication of his all round talents, also Barca fans are eager to see far more he.
More immediately, however, Fati could get the chance to excel on the global stage: that the Spanish federation has been reported to be racing through the essential paperwork to allow him to reflect the nation in the coming Fifa Under-17 World Cup, which will be staged in Brazil in October and November.
Bear in Mind the name. Ansu Fati has become impossible to overlook.
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