Ansu Fati’s highlights after he makes Barcelona debut aged 16 years and 298 days

  • Rob Swan

Remember the name, Ansu Fati.

On Sunday night against Real Betis, the Guinea-Bissau born forward became the youngest player to play for Barcelona in La Liga since 1941.

Aged just 16 years and 298 days, Fati was called up to first-team training by Ernesto Valverde last week with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both doubts for the Betis game.

The highly-rated teenage La Masia product, who recently signed a new three-year contract with the Catalan giants, was named among the subs after catching the eye in training.

And after Barça took a 5-1 lead over Betis in the 77th minute, Valverde threw Fati into the mix in place of Carles Perez.

The youngster was only on the pitch for about 15 minutes but still managed to make a positive impression during that short amount of time.

@Youngcules wrote: “15 mins into his footballing career, and 16 year old Ansu already has more footballing intelligence than Dembele. Nobody is denying Dembele’s talent here. He’s an exceptional talent. But you cannot deny he lacks the intelligence to compliment his raw talent.”

Other Barça fans also felt that Fati was already looking like a better option than Ousmane Dembele.

You can make your own minds up by watching his individual highlights from the Betis game here (click play on the black video window)…

In his post-match press conference, Valverde said of Fati: “Ansu has a lot of qualities, he’s quick and he uses the space well.

“I know he’s really young. He’s the youngest player I have ever given a debut to. But if we don’t look at how old the other players in the squad are, we’re not going to look at his age either. We look at what he can add and he’s surprised us all.”

And Fati himself was quoted by ESPN as saying: “I was looking at my parents and my family [in the stands], all those people that have accompanied me to this point in my career.

“I stayed there on the pitch because I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to enjoy that moment. The truth is that I was really nervous before, but I only have words of gratitude for everyone: the club, the manager, the supporters, who gave me a great reception.”

To complete Fati’s unforgettable night, Messi uploaded a photo of him hugging the debutant to Instagram.

You’ve made it, Ansu.

Fati was younger than Messi was he made his first appearance for Barça but the youngest player ever is Vicenc Martinez, who made his debut during the 1941-42 season aged 16 years and 278 days old.

He has a €100 million release clause in his contract – which Europe’s top clubs might be interested to hear – but for now his future is alongside Messi and co. at Camp Nou.

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