Ansu Fati: The season when a child becomes a man

Zlatko Ilijevski
29 Sep 2021
Ansu Fati: The season when a child becomes a man

The most talented Spanish teenager Ansu Fati returned after an 11-month break with a great goal against Levante and fueled the fans' hopes that with him on the field, Barça could overcome the torture that was current at the start of the season. Behind Barcelona is one of the most turbulent summers in the history of the club, and it has opened up hundreds of essential questions. How to arrange life after Lionel Messi (and without money), whether Ronald Kuman is the right man for such a responsible job, who could, if not completely, then at least in good part wear the shoes of one of the best of all time, is imposed. As a leader, he weaves the winning mentality for the team, and delivers a double-digit number of goals and assists.

Only masters like Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar have reached the double-double since the 2014/15 season and Barça's last Champions League trophy. The Catalans easily devoured 222,000,000 euros from the sale of the Brazilian to Paris Saint-Germain, El Pistolero was donated to Atlético Madrid for a pittance and thus the competition was paved the way to the title, and the alpha and omega from the musketeer trio MSN is not on its own in the new, Parisian environment.

Messi made his debut for Paris Saint-Germain at the end of August against Reims, but the smile on his face is different. While the Argentine is struggling in France, Barça has struggled in the Primera and the Champions League. Although they still don't know about the championship defeat after six rounds, they lost points against Athletic Bilbao, Cadiz and Granada, while the mighty Bayern defeated them in the elite competition. However, in last weekend’s match against Levante, the fans of the Spanish giant were shown the “new Messi”.

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Ever since he made his debut for the first team in the 2019/20 season, Ansu Fati has been talked about as the successor of the legendary Argentine. However, the break due to the injury and meniscus surgery was so long that the teenager was a bit forgotten. He does not physically resemble Messi, he plays with his right foot, but 14 minutes on the field against Levante were enough for him to set fire to Camp Nou. To make about 35,000 fans present with a few moves, to make them sound and create an atmosphere as if the biggest Spanish stadium is full.

From the 60th minute, when Kuman's assistant Alfred Schroeder sent him to warm up, the audience "called him out" chanting his name and surname. From the 81st minute, the guy from Guinea-Bissau started talking on the field. It's not just about the ease with which he kicked out the guard, so he punched the opponent's goalkeeper from the penalty area. He constantly took responsibility, tried to harm the defense of the rival, and when he finally sealed the triumph (3: 0), Barça's hero of the draw with Granada Araujo lifted him into the air and thus practically told the audience "This is the man who will lead us". Let’s remember that Fati is the youngest scorer in the history of Barcelona (16 years and 304 days), that in that respect he is the record holder of the Champions League (17 years, 40 days), and the Spanish national team (17 years, 311 days). Barcelona's fans have hundreds of arguments to believe that a man has appeared, sorry, a young man who will make their journey through the Primera less painful, and that there is hope for the future of this Spanish club.

Last weekend, for the first time in his career, Ansu wore the ten of Barcelona, a number that was unimaginable on anyone's back for so many years except on Messi. Immediately after the match and the ten-minute flash, he said: "I don't feel pressured to wear a ten. The pressure comes from the fact that you have the opportunity to play for Barcelona."

He didn't seem to play with any weight on the field. He started with a smile that spread from ear to ear when Camp Nou greeted him with applause when he entered the game, to a masterful goal. Of course, it will not always be as euphoric and carefree as the last match was, neither for Fati, nor for Barça. Because one teenager can't carry the whole season of such a big club on his back alone. But if there is no injury, this may be the season when the child becomes a man.

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