Records are there to be broken, and Ansu Fati has made a habit of smashing a whole host of them during the first 18 months of his senior career.
One of only a handful of players to make the leap into the Barca first team without ever having represented their ‘B’ team, Fati has been a revelation for the Blaugrana ever since making his debut at the age of 16 years and 298 days.
Electric pace, supreme confidence and the skills to match make Fati the ideal modern winger, and with his killer instinct in front of goal ever improving, it is no surprise that the 18-year-old is being earmarked by many to lead Barca into a new era.
“I think Fati is the one for the future. He’s currently doing amazing stuff,” ex-Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o said in January before marking the youngster out as the obvious potential replacement for Lionel Messi should the Argentine depart Camp Nou this summer.
In truth, before a knee injury suffered in November sent Fati to the sidelines, the teenager was largely outplaying Messi in the opening weeks of the campaign, with the baton of responsibility seemingly within touching distance of being passed to a player who already boasts a €400m(£367m/$468m)release clause.
Fati’s early-season form was enough to see him named La Liga’s MVP for the month of September. Naturally, he was the youngest player to ever receive such a prize.
Breaking records is just what Ansu Fati does. NXGN has a worthy winner in 2021.
Full NXGNprofile: Ansu Fati (August 2019)
NXGN exclusive: Fati on his Euro 2020 dream