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Ansu, 16, Barca's youngest debutant in 78 years



Ansu Fati was the second youngest player to play in the Liga for Barcelona after his debut in a 5-2 win against Real Betis [19659005WithLionelMessiLuisSuarezandOusmaneDembeleallmissingduetoaninjuryAnsuwasappointedtothe18-mansquadalongwithB-wingerCarlesPerezattheageof16and298days

Ernesto Valverde called him a substitute, with Perez attacking on the side of Antoine Griezmann and Rafinha, before he came on in the second half with a 5-1

against Barca.

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The Spanish champions won the match with two goals for Griezmann. Perez, Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal were also at the finish.

"Ansu has many qualities, is fast and uses the space well," said Valverde in a post-game press conference.

"I know it is him." He's the youngest player I've ever made a debut. But if we do not look at how old the other players are in the squad, we will not care about his age. We look at what he is capable of adding and he surprised us all.

After the match, Ansu remained close to the goal during his cameo appearance passed by, longer on the pitch than his teammates when he took everything in.

"I looked at my parents and my family [in the stands] all the people who have accompanied me to this point in my career," he explained Reporters.

"I stayed in the square because I could not believe it. I wanted to enjoy this moment. The truth is that I used to be very nervous, but I only have words of thanks for everyone: the club, the manager, the supporters who made a great impression on me. "

Ansu – who played for the U19 last season – is younger than players like Messi and Bojan Krkic when they made their debut in the top division of the club but is not the youngest player ever to play in the league

Vicenc Martinez was 16 years and 278 days old when he appeared for the first time in the La Liga for Barca in the 1941/42 season – only 20 days younger than Ansu.

After lengthy negotiations Barcelona joined Ansu in early summer with a new deal, signing new terms to keep him in line until 2022, with the option to extend the contract for another two years, with a $ 100 million buyout

The talks lasted longer than originally expected after an e-mail fell into the wrong hands when they negotiated a new deal for another of the club's offspring, Ilaix Moriba.

The Email with the details of Ilaix's new business was sent to an employee at Espanyol instead of his representative. A source at Espanyol told ESPN FC that the club was "thrilled" by the money offered.

This in turn saw Ansu's agents pushing for a better deal with Barca, especially given the interest of some of the biggest European junior players clubs.

Barcelona had always intended to give Ansu a new deal and a salary increase. Together with Ilaix he is one of the best rated players in the academy.

The club has recently recognized the need to improve conditions for its best young players after a number of players have opted for clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Monaco.

Ansu was born in Guinea-Bissau, but moved to Catalonia at a young age and since his tenth year in the club B-team in the Spanish third division.


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