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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Ansu Fati, 16, scores and assists within seven minutes of full Barcelona debut


Ansu Fati's extraordinary rise continued on Saturday as he got a goal and an assist within seven minutes of his first La Liga start for Barcelona. The 16-year-old became Barca's youngest ever goalscorer in the top flight when he came off the bench to score in the 2-2 draw with Osasuna prior to the international break. With Luis Suarez fit enough only for the bench and Lionel Messi still not risked due to a calf problem, head coach Ernesto Valverde handed Fati his first start at Camp Nou for the visit of Valencia. The winger responded by opening the scoring after only two minutes, drilling home from Frenkie de Jong's low cross from the right. MORE: Manchester City stunned by Norwich Barely five minutes later, Fati returned the favor to De Jong, cutting in from the left and squaring the ball for the Netherlands midfielder to score his first goal for the club. Fate, who does not turn 17 until October 31, watched Barca's Juvenil A side face Girona on Saturday just hours before he started against Valencia. Born in Bissau before moving to Spain with his family as a child, Fati joined Sevilla's youth academy before signing for Barca at the age of 10. His father admitted on Partidazo de Cope last month that "Real Madrid offered me better conditions than Barcelona for my son" but that Barca convinced him to accept their offer after they visited his house. "This is the happiest day of my life," he said after Fati's debut in the 5-2 victory over Real Betis. "When he told us he was being called up by Valverde I started to cry and my wife too. When he came on, we were on cloud nine. "At six or seven, he came to Spain. I had come here before and I didn't know he played football. They told me I was not aware of how good my son was and that he was dribbling by everybody."

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