“He is a machine for destroying defences” – Dani Alves compares current Barcelona star to Samuel Eto’o

Former Barcelona forward Samuel Eto'o; (inset) Dani Alves.
Former Barcelona forward Samuel Eto'o; (inset) Dani Alves.
Anantaajith Ra

Barcelona right-back Dani Alves has revealed that his teammate and prodigy Ansu Fati reminds him of Blaugrana legend Samuel Eto'o.

Fati is one of the most talented players to have come out of the club's famed La Masia academy in recent times. He also inherited the No. 10 shirt at the start of the ongoing season after the departure of Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain.

Alves, who returned to the Camp Nou in January this year, recently stated in an interview with Diario Sport that he and Fati are close. He also compared the Spaniard's consistent injury issues with that of Messi when he first began playing for the first team and backed him to bounce back from it.

In the same interview, the Brazilian added that Fati reminded him of Eto'o, stating (as quoted by the Mirror):

"Ansu was born to score goals. He reminds me a lot of Samuel Eto'o. He is a machine for destroying defences. I think he can also define an era, a special history within Barça."
❗Dani Alves is a great pillar of support for Ansu Fati.• Alves is twice the age & experience of Ansu but they share a very special bonding. The Brazilian has also helped him stay motivated when he was facing tough times with injuries. They both speak Portuguese.Via: @sport

Alves went on to add:

"It will depend, like the rest of the youngsters, on whether he takes the right path and optimises his qualities. Fame is the greatest distraction in life. You have to know how to master it."

Eto'o notably enjoyed an extremely fruitful career with Barcelona. He played 199 times for the Catalans between 2004 and 2009, scoring 130 goals and laying out 40 assists. The Cameroonian was part of their treble-winning 2008-09 side and ended up with three La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups and two UEFA Champions League titles.

Ansu Fati's development at Barcelona has been stunted by repeated injury issues

Since making his debut for Barcelona in the 2019-20 season, Fati has suffered multiple injuries which have stopped him from getting a consistent run in the team. He made 33 appearances across all competitions in his very first campaign, scoring eight times.

That number fell to 10 last season as, after a bright start, a mensical laceration ruled him out for much of the season. Fati played just 10 matches in all competitions in the 2020-21 season, scoring five goals and recording four assists.

Ansu Fati is training normally with the group and very eager to return to matches. He does not have any pain. Xavi and the rest of the coaching staff will not take any risks, as the rest of the forwards are available.— @sport

The same injury, as well as problems with his knee and hamstring, have seen the 19-year-old only play 10 times this term as well. He is currently out, having not played a match since January but could return at the start of next month (as per Barca Universal).

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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