Ansu Fati became the second-youngest to ever play an official match for FC Barcelona when he came on as a substitute in Barça’s 5-2 triumph over Real Betis. Aged 16 years and 298 days, Fati is the youngest to play for the club since Vicenc Martinez back in 1941, who was a mere 18 days younger.
But it almost didn’t happen, because Real Madrid tried to pry the youngster away last summer with a “millionaire” offer, according to Fati’s own father, Bori.
In an interview with RAC1, the player’s father recounted the story:
“I had an offer from Madrid for a lot of money, but in came Albert Puig, and he told me that they are Barça and they have a project. That in a few years I would see him there. We knew that he worked hard, but we couldn’t imagine that he’d be playing with these ‘beast’ players, training with the likes of Gerard Piqué...”
Puig was Barcelona’s Academy Director from 2010 to 2014. He now is a part of New York City FC.
The player’s father revealed the moment he learned that his son would be training with the first team, as well.
“My cellphone was on silent, and I didn’t realize. Then he called his mother and he said, ‘mom, I am going with the first team.’ I jumped out of my seat, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
He says his son told him the player himself could barely believe it: “It’s not registering, dad. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep.”
He also says his son confessed his idols are the managers he’s had at Barça.
An overjoyed Bori Fati reflected on the moment, saying, “I have seen him debut with Barça, I can die in peace.”
However, the proud father confidently expressed that it would not be the last time we would see his son with the first team.