Anssumane “Ansu” Fati (born 31 October 2002) is a Bissau-Guinean professional footballer who plays as a left winger for Spanish club, Barcelona FC.
Born in Bissau, Guinea Bissau, Fati moved to Herrera, Seville with his family at the age of six, when his older brother Braima signed for Sevilla FC.
Ansu Fati Football Career
After representing local side Herrera and the youth teams of Sevilla, he joined Barcelona’s La Masia academy in 2012, aged ten, a year after his brother had made the same move.
On July 24, 2019, Fati signed his first professional contract with the Catalans, agreeing to a deal until 2022.
On August 25, before even appearing with the reserves, Fati made his first team and La Liga debut, coming on as a late-game substitute for goal scorer Carles Pérez in a 5 – 2 home win over Real Betis, aged 16. He became the second-youngest player to debut for the club, only 18 days older than Vicenç Martínez back in 1941.
On 31 August 2019, he scored his first professional goal in a 2–2 away draw between Barcelona and Osasuna at the age of 16 and 304 days, becoming the Barcelona senior team’s youngest goal scorer ever and the third-youngest scorer in the history of La Liga.
On 14 September 2019, in his first career start, Fati became the youngest player in the history of La Liga to score and assist in the same match, at the age of 16.
Fati scored in the 2nd minute and assisted Frenkie de Jong’s goal in the 7th minute of an eventual 5 – 2 home against Valencia to take the record.
On 17 September, Fati made his Champions League debut in a 0–0 away draw against Borussia Dortmund, becoming the youngest player to feature for Barcelona in the competition at the age of 16 years and 321 days, breaking the previous record held by Bojan Krkić (17 years and 22 days).
He also became the third-youngest player ever to appear in the competition. He was replaced by Lionel Messi in the 60th minute.
Ansu Fati Family
Fati’s brothers Braima and Miguel are also footballers.
His father, Bori Fati, is a former footballer who was from Guinea-Bissau.
He immigrated to Portugal where he set up some teams in the lower leagues.
There, he read a story of the Andalusian town Marinaleda, situated near Seville, that was offering work to immigrants.
After begging for food on the streets of Marinaleda, he met the mayor and found a job as a driver and then settled in Herrera, a nearby town, where Ansu would spend most of his childhood and where he would get his football enlightenment training. Though born in Guinea-Bissau, Bori has said he is “a Sevillian”.
Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, has been the mayor of Marinaleda since 1979.
Sánchez Gordillo met Bori, a Guinean who had left Bissau first for Portugal and later for Spain alone after his wife became pregnant.
Bori had nothing, and had heard that Marinaleda was a place where they looked after people.
The mayor looked after him, gave him work, somewhere to stay, and helped to bring his family over. Bori also worked on the construction of the railway, and turned his hand to anything he could. His wife and two sons joined him and they set up home in Herrera, 10 kilometres away.
Ansu Fati Home Football/Nationality
Even though he is eligible to represent his home country team Guinea-Bissau at the international level, Fati has not represented the nation at any level.
After his debut in La Liga, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) showed interest in him, with reports saying the Spanish government has set its sights on granting him citizenship so as to include him in the Under-17 World Cup squad in Brazil in October 2019.
He is also reportedly eligible for a Portuguese passport through his grandparents’ birth in colonial Portuguese Guinea.
Ansu Fati at Barca
The recent injury to Lionel Messi saw the 16-year-old thrust into the limelight.
The “jewel of La Masia” put pen-to-paper on a three-year contract extension with Barcelona recently, with a £90 million release clause inserted into the deal.
Fati was on Seville’s youth books until the age of 10, when he decided to make the switch to Barcelona.
In the summer he was promoted to the Under-19s, and following injuries to the likes of Messi, Suarez and Ousmane Dembele, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde called up the youngster to his first-team squad.
Barcelona had to ask for his parents’ permission for him to make his debut in their recent 5-2 win over Real Betis, because of LaLiga’s restrictions on under age players featuring in night games.
Both his mum and dad were in attendance for the game.
“I was looking at my parents and my family in the stands, all those people that have accompanied me to this point in my career,” he said “the truth is that I was really nervous before, but I only have words of gratitude for everyone, the club, the manager, the supporters, who gave me a great reception.”
His elder brother Brahima, 21, also came through the Barcelona youth system before joining Calhorra.
Fati’s, younger brother Miguel plays in the same youth team as Messi’s son, Thiago