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"Let's hope he's the one to take over" - Samuel Eto'o backs Barcelona youngster to be Lionel Messi's heir

Samuel Eto
Samuel Eto'o won the treble with Lionel Messi at Barcelona
ANALYST
Modified 13 Jan 2021, 06:18 IST
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African footballing icon Samuel Eto'o thinks Barcelona's Ansu Fati has what it takes to replace Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp.

Fati has announced himself as a future superstar with Barcelona's performances over the last year. Eto'o believes that the Spaniard will be the one to take over the reins once Lionel Messi calls time on his Barcelona career.

Former Barcelona striker Eto'o spent five seasons playing alongside Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp, where he won the La Liga thrice and two Champions League titles to boot.

The Cameroonian is regarded as one of the greatest African footballers of all time, as well as one of the best strikers ever to play.

When SPORTBible asked about Lionel Messi, Eto'o stated he firmly believes that he is the greatest footballer ever to play the game.

"I believe he is the greatest of this life and also of the other life. When he is playing, you really have the impression that he's playing a pick up game with his friends."

The Cameroonian striker has also accepted that Lionel Messi might be leaving the Nou Camp this summer. He believes that Barcelona already have a player in Ansu Fati who can replace the Argentine.

"I think he is the one for the future, that said he's presently doing amazing stuff so I think the club really needs to groom him and take very good care of him. Let's hope he's the one to take over from Messi."

Ansu Fati is a product of Barcelona's famed academy, La Masia. The 18-year old has already made four appearances for the Spanish national team.

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Fati started this season on fire, bagging five goals and four assists in 10 appearances for the Blaugrana. However, in November, a knee injury halted the Spaniard's season, with no set return date confirmed by Barcelona yet.

Barcelona need make a decision on Lionel Messi soon

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman may have to start planning for life after Messi at the club
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman may have to start planning for life after Messi at the club

Lionel Messi made it clear in the summer that he wanted to leave Barcelona, but the Catalan club rejected the Argentinian's request. This forced a disgruntled Messi to remain at the club begrudgingly.

Barcelona have had a turbulent season so far, and are currently third in La Liga, seven points off Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.

Lionel Messi has also had a slow start to the season by his standards, having only managed 11 goals in 17 La Liga matches. The Argentine has been linked with a move away from the club and is currently in the last six months of his contract.

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The Blaugrana will soon have to decide whether to sell Messi or not to avoid letting the Argentine leave for free in the summer. PSG are reportedly the favorites to land Messi, with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City also said to be in the mix.

Published 13 Jan 2021, 06:18 IST
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