Ansu Fati, new "jewel" of FC Barcelona

The young striker born in Guinea-Bissau, took advantage of the absence of injured Lionel Messi to show that he could embody the success of the "Blaugrana".

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Ansu Fati during a match of FC Barcelona in Granada, September 21, 2019.
Ansu Fati during a match of FC Barcelona in Granada, September 21, 2019. JORGE GUERRERO / AFP

It's a "Predatory". Expert word. Victor Valdes, his youth coach at FC Barcelona – who is a former goalkeeper – warned the opposing defenses that this teenager was going to torment them. It took a handful of games for this boy to start abusing them. Elusive, fast and daring, soon to be 17 years old, the footballer Anssumane Fati has just won his place in the prestigious professional team of Barça, alongside Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele. "What planet are you from? ", even wondered in one the Spanish daily Sport.

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At the end of August, the world discovered the hairless face of "Ansu", his insolent dribbling, his technical ease and his light passes. Hardly on Camp Nou's stride, the nugget set the records: with his two goals and a decisive pass in five league games and a tenure in the Champions League on 17 September, he became the youngest player to score for Barça since 1941 and the youngest ever in European Cup history in the history of the club. Sunday, October 6, he had to make his sixth appearance in Liga, 21 hours against Seville. The prodigy took advantage of the absence of the team's master, Lionel Messi, injured, to show that he could embody the succession of " Blaugrana ".

"Ruffling" beginnings

Ansu Fati was born in 2002 in Bissau, capital of Guinea-Bissau, and joined at the age 6 years his father in Europe, where this former modest footballer chained the odd jobs, in Portugal then in the south of Spain. It is in Andalucia that the little Ansu will hit his first balloons, in Herrera and Sevilla FC. At the age of 10, he is spotted by Barça and joins – like his two brothers – La Masia, the prestigious training center of the Catalan club, the antechamber of the professional team which has seen the birth of talents such as Lionel Messi – still him – or Andres Iniesta. "He's totally confusing when he plays. It is essential to give freedom to such talent, do not hide it, it must do what is natural for him. He is the jewel of La Masia »Victor Valdes explained.

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The leaders of FC Barcelona have understood this well. In a contract until 2022 (signed this summer), they are already seeking at all costs to reprocess – not to say "secure" – with the key to an annual salary evolution that can reach seven figures. No question of letting him slip into a competitor like Real Madrid. In a few weeks, Ansu Fati has not only won tens of thousands of subscribers on social networks; its transfer value is soaring, to the point of being estimated between 10 and 15 million euros, according to the football observatory of the International Center for the Study of Sport (CIES) in Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

The national selections also dream of tearing off the new phenomenon, starting with the Roja, coached by Robert Moreno. Thus, the young striker Guinea-Bissau received, September 20, his Spanish papers, announced the government. Suddenly, Robert Moreno was quick to preselect, qualifying his debut as"Hair-raising". For its part, the federation of Guinea-Bissau has announced that the brand new dual nationality of the young player "Is not a problem," hoping that he will eventually choose to defend the colors of his homeland, which has never played in a World Cup finals and has only two participations in the African Cup of Nations (2017 and 2019).

He made Neymar forget

Anyway, the outbreak of Ansu Fati has forgotten the aborted return of the Brazilian planetary star Neymar, who had wished, this summer, to wear the jersey blue and garnet. With this bush, the "Culés" (the supporters of Barça) have something to vibrate for many more years. "He has an impressive level of play and the conditions to succeed", Lionel Messi assured FIFA at the presentation of his trophy for best player of the year, September 23: "And I try to help and accompany him. "

Like him, FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde portrays "A balanced boy", " comfortable ", but wishes however "That he gets to know himself, to know the first division, that he sees that it is difficult and assimilates the workload, the stress".

What confirms Lionel Messi: "When I look at it, I would like it to be considered as it was done with me when I started, that is to say with calm, without putting pressure. We must not forget that he is only 16 years old. I hope he will continue to enjoy himself and that all the euphoria that can be around him will not hurt him, because he has all the qualities to become a very big. "


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