BARCELONA: Barcelona’s teenage sensation Anssumane Fati is already being considered for the Spain team, coach Robert Moreno said after the 16-year-old lit up the Camp Nou with a superb display in his side’s rampant 5-2 win over Valencia on Saturday.
Having already become Barca’s youngest ever scorer when he netted against Osasuna two weeks ago, Fati became the youngest player to score in La Liga at the Camp Nou when he opened the scoring in the second minute with a confident first-time shot.
Fati then tore Valencia’s defence apart with a thrilling run into the box which led to him laying on a pass for Frenkie de Jong to score Barca’s second and continued to torment the visitors before he was substituted and given a standing ovation.
Spain coach Moreno was among those in the Camp Nou crowd enraptured by the forward, who was born in Guinea-Bissau but moved to Spain aged six, and he said the federation were working to ensure he could be available to play for the national team.
“I’m not involved in the process but the federation are working on bringing Ansu Fati into the Spain team and then it will be the player’s decision,” Moreno told reporters.
“The federation always works to ensure Spain has the best players. It’s very exciting for Barca to have a player who has come through La Masia (the club’s academy) doing so well but he must ensure he doesn’t get carried away, he must stay calm.”
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde also praised Fati for his rapid rise from the club’s youth set up into the first team.
“It’s not simple at all to develop into a Barca player so quickly but he is very focused and he is doing well,” he said.
“It’s not normal for a player to score with their first action, then get an assist with his second and nearly score with his third.
“We want him to get to know the level he is playing at, to keep developing and keep working so he can contribute even more for us.”
Sergio Busquets, a Barca academy success story himself, encouraged Fati to keep his feet on the ground.
“When you are young you’re not aware of everything around you and you can get carried away with the praise you get because you have earned it, but we all know how difficult it is to succeed and you have to be consistent,” the midfielder said.
“He has amazing talent and his head is screwed on. I hope this is the start of a very long and beautiful story for him here.”