Barcelona relies on Ansu Fati


FC Barcelona is a team that is synonymous with success. They are also synonymous with greatness, and until recently, had greatness in their rank scoring goals and dropping jaws.

That someone was Lionel Messi. The best player in the world recently left Barcelona under tragic circumstances, and Barcelona lost their talisman and captain. No longer would Culers see the magician don the Barcelona colours and mesmerise anyone watching him.

Finding a successor to a player like Messi is extremely hard, if not impossible. However, they seem to have found a player who could very well be the man to lead Barca into an era. The next golden boy from La Masia, and a top-tier talent at that.

Enter Ansu Fati.

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Barcelona’s first championship league win with the help of Fati

Fati is an explosive player, the kind of talent who steps up to the plate the bigger the occasion. He made his first-team debut for Barcelona a few seasons ago. At that time, everyone liked his direct style of play, but no one would have imagined the kind of talent he would blossom into.

Fati won everyone’s admiration with his goalscoring, dribbling, explosiveness and passion for the game. He immediately established himself as a key member of the first team, and continued to impress everyone all over the world.

Unfortunately, Fati suffered a bad knee injury in a match against Real Betis. Medical tests revealed that he had torn his left knee meniscus. He underwent surgery a few days later, and was sidelined for four months. It would be nine by the time he returned to the Camp Nou.

Culers’ wait for Fati would prove to be worth the excruciating patience, as the youngster returned with a special addition – the number 10 jersey vacated by Messi. On 26 September, Fati played his first game after 323 days, having come off the bench to play 10 minutes. And oh, what a 10 minutes it was!

With the score against Levante 2-0 in Barcelona’s favour, Fati came off the bench to score an absolute belter minutes after coming on. He sent the Camp Nou faithful and the rest of the football community into hysterics and praise, and revealed that he was well and truly back.

Barcelona vs Levante | LaLiga: Ansu Fati marks Barcelona return with a goal  | Marca

The future of Barcelona is in the hands of Ansu Fati

There are players like Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland who are considered world-beaters and superstars for the future. Fati isn’t rated in that bracket, and perhaps rightfully so. He hasn’t played as much as Haaland and Mbappé.

But given his talent and his playstyle, it is safe to say he has the potential to be an absolute superstar. He is widely considered by fans, pundits and coaches to be one of the most promising rising stars in the world. In fact, he has been dubbed as the Messi regen.

Fati is a very versatile attacker. He started his career at La Masia as a striker, often occupying the No 9 position. He was later moved to the left wing, where he did just as well. He plays both positions for Barcelona depending on whether a striker is on the pitch or not.

The youngster is capable of scoring with either foot, although he is predominantly right-footed. He has also played on the right wing as a proper winger. He has also played a false-9, as a second striker and even as an attacking midfielder or a classic No. 10. His versatility makes him a crucial cog for any team.

Ansu stands at 5’10”, and although he does not look very physical, he has a remarkable physicality to his game. This is in stark contrast to the general Barcelona template team, which prioritises technical ability over grit. Fati possesses both, making him a top-tier modern footballer.

The player is a scary dribbler, and that with his ferocious pace makes him a very tough opponent to deal with one-on-one. He is also a prolific goalscorer with the complete skillset, whether it is scoring from counter-attacks, dribbles, 1v1s, and even headers.

Ansu Fati - Player profile 21/22 | Transfermarkt

Tor-Kristian Karlsen of ESPN said it best. He hailed Fati as a “generational talent” of 2021, and showered him with praise for his speed, acceleration, technical prowess, ambidexterity and versatility. He also noted his attachment to the ball, intelligence, workrate, off-the-ball movement and ability to hold up play and dictate the movement of runners for him to pass to.

How does Ansu Fati react to Barcelona relying on him?

With Barcelona going through a period of transition, they need stars and big players to step up. Fati is one of the players they are relying on to usher in a new era. He is being considered as the player to build the team around, and has been likened to Messi and Ronaldinho.

Fati thanked the fans for their unrelenting support, and vowed to meet their expectations.

“I really appreciate the Culers, because they have made me feel that I am not alone during this process,” Fati told the official FC Barcelona website.

“I have always received affectionate messages with them saying they can’t wait to see me back. It’s a real positive during recovery, giving you a boost to work to get back.

“I’ve felt really wanted and that’s helped me during my recovery. Now I want to return their confidence and I can’t wait to go back to Camp Nou. My return will be a special day and I hope that I can play well for them and show my desire.

“I really want to get back playing, feel like a footballer, and enjoy it more than anything. I haven’t played in a year and I want to start getting in the groove and gradually become more confident. I will try to bring something new to the team every time I play, something from me,” he concluded.

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