Playing in a Barcelona shirt is one of the most prestigious elements in the football world. Even more prestigious is playing for Blaugrana with the iconic number 10 behind your back. The legacy of that number puts any player in the elite footsteps of those legends who represented that iconic no. 10 at the Camp Nou.
La Masia graduate Ansu Fati has been chosen by the culers to inherit the emblematic no. 10 from Lionel Messi's unfortunate departure. Fati has all the right sets of tools in his arsenal to be the next breakout star from Barcelona. One thing the club has never struggled with is producing generational starlets who create ripples around European football.
The 18-year-old joined an elite list of names that came before him to shoulder the responsibility of carrying forward the prestige of the Barcelonistas. Former players like Kubala, Suarez, Evaristo, Maradona, Stoichkov, Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, and Messi have all left a part of their spirited legacy within that no.10. Now is Fati's time to take the momentum forward.
Bori Fati overwhelmed by Barcelona's belief in his progeny
Ansu Fati's father, Bori Fati, couldn't hold back his prideful emotions when his son was taking over Lionel Messi’s No. 10 Barcelona shirt. Fati senior couldn't contain his joy and purchased eight of the newly released AF10 shirts from the club's store to commemorate the moment. Furthermore, he expressed his fresh feelings about his son's inheritance:
“Ansu has a winning mentality. Hopefully so, that the best Ansu returns. He is only 18 years old. We are very happy. I have no words to describe what it means that Ansu inherits the 10 from Leo Messi. I have no words. It is a moment of emotion that must be kept forever.”
Fati has played 43 games for Barcelona in all competitions. In those games, he has tallied 13 goals followed by registering five assists to his name. Despite his sparkling form, he was unfortunate to spend a lot of his time on the sidelines in the 20/21 season, succumbing to meniscal lacerations.
The said injury caused the Spaniard to miss 47 games which was a lot to cope with. His father talks about the mental toll that such a situation demanded from the family.
“We have had a very bad time. I have cried a lot, many times, Ansu too. He is very strong, they have been nine very hard months, I do not wish anyone what we have experienced. Not my worst enemy. But life goes on. I have spent many nights without sleep. Many. We have felt the love of Barcelona. We have checked every day when we arrive at the sports city. The culés never fail. We are with them all the family.” - Bori Fati H/T Deportes Cuatro.
Fans will have to wait a bit longer to witness the first glimpse of Fati playing as the new no. 10. Fati is back in training and could likely make his comeback against Sevilla. But Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has been dismissive of putting a set time frame on the youngster's anticipated return.