At the age of just 16 years and 305 days, Ansu Fati scored his first ever goal at the Camp Nou and the crowd went wild. It was a night to remember: getting his first call-up to start the match, converting his first touch into a goal and assisting a Frenkie de Jong goal with his second touch. I don’t think it can get better than that. The youngster oozed class. His decision-making was impeccable and his technique and acceleration were beyond his years. Ansu is the definition of an old soul. He has the body of a young teenager but the brain of a veteran footballer.
The word ‘pressure’ is non-existent in Ansu’s vocabulary. 90,000 plus spectators watching and dissecting his every move in the largest stadium in Europe did not even faze the teenager. It was as if he was playing football in his backyard with some old friends. Nothing adds up. How can a player at this age not show signs of pressure? He calculated every single move intelligently, making it seem like he has been playing in the top flight for years. He toyed with some of Spain’s most elite defenders in the likes of Ezequiel Garay and Daniel Wass, as if it was nothing. That is unteachable. Being able to play without letting the pressure dent your performance is something you cannot teach, it is innate, you either have it or you don’t and Ansu definitely has it.
The Barcelona academy graduate has burst on to the scene in ways no-one could have ever imagined. He made the giant leap from Victor Valdes’s Juvenil A to the first team, without even passing through Barcelona B and has since been electric for Ernesto Valverde. At the rate that Ansu is burning through stages, I wouldn’t be surprised if he became president in a couple years. Just whatever you do, don’t forget the name: Ansu Fati.