Who Is Ansu Fati: Barcelona’s New No.10 After Lionel Messi?

Published 09/01/2021, 1:48 PM EDT


Lionel Messi’s departure from FC Barcelona has opened a Pandora’s box of questions for the Spanish club. They’ve started answering them one by one, first deciding the heir to Messi’s iconic number 10 shirt. 18-year-old Ansu Fati is the club’s new number 10.

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The young forward showed his class for the club at a very young age and is a huge prospect. He started his first game for Barcelona at the young age of 16 and became the club’s youngest goalscorer in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, both.

With these huge records, comparisons to Lionel Messi are inevitable. Fati is a young and shifty winger who uses his pace and technical ability to capitalize on goal-scoring opportunities.

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Unlike other young prospects in the league, namely Ousmane Dembele and Vinicius Jr., what makes him stand apart is his finishing. Fati has shown all the characteristics of a top player and is set to have a huge career ahead of him.

However, does the Spanish international have enough to wear the legendary number 10? This question can be answered with another parallel with Lionel Messi. The Argentinian wore the number 19 in his debut season with FC Barcelona and took the number 10 after two seasons.

Ansu Fati has spent two years with FC Barcelona, and like Messi, he got the number 10 after two seasons too.

Ansu Fati and his stats for FC Barcelona.

The winger has featured in 31 games to date, in which he has scored 11 goals and assisted 2. It’s even more impressive when you consider that he has only played 1500 minutes, bringing his ratio of goal contributions to almost one every 117 minutes.

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He has also played 8 UCL games for FC Barcelona and has outperformed his potential in the competition. Despite only playing 273 minutes in the UCL, Fati has an output of 2 goals and three assists. His performance on the biggest stage in club football was enough for the club to give him the number 10.

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Only time will tell if the youngster can shoulder the responsibility of being Barca’s number 10. No pressure though, it’s only Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho whose shoes he’s being asked to fill.

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Aniket Awasthi

422 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a football writer at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for football to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford as his favorite players, but he is a great admirer of Karim Benzema too.

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