Teenager Ansu Fati becomes next promising star in Spain
UNB, Madrid :
A 16-year-old forward born in Guinea-Bissau has become the next promising soccer star in Spain.
Ansu Fati, who made his debut with Barcelona this season, has quickly attracted everyone's attention and is already touted by many as the next big thing for the Spanish national team.
Fati played his first match with Spain's under-21 squad on Tuesday and the next day shared front-page headlines with the senior squad, which had sealed its place in the 2020 European Championship on the same night.
"I'll never forget this moment," said Fati, who recently gained his Spanish citizenship. "I truly enjoyed it."
There is already talk he could be part of the main Spain squad at Euro 2020, or at least make it to the Olympic team for the Tokyo Games.
"It's extraordinary what has been happening to this kid at this age," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. "We are all thrilled with him."
The Spanish soccer federation moved quickly to make sure Fati was eligible to play for Spain following his rapid rise with the Catalan club. He has been living in Spain since a young age but reportedly also could have chosen to play for Portugal.
Fati played his first professional match less than two months ago, coming off the bench in Barcelona's 5-2 victory over Real Betis in the Spanish league. In his following game, Fati became the club's youngest player to score in the Spanish league, and then was also the youngest to score at Camp Nou. Fati later played in the Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund, becoming Barcelona's youngest player to appear in a UEFA competition.