Spain boss Luis Enrique has hailed Ansu Fati’s self-confidence after the Barcelona starlet became his country’s youngest ever scorer at the age of 17 years and 311 days.
The winger has enjoyed a dramatic rise to the top after graduating from Barca’s infamous La Masia academy at the beginning of last season.
Fati became the Catalan club’s youngest scorer in La Liga, as well as the youngest goalscorer in Champions League history in a fine debut campaign.
The teenager has now carried on his incredible form at international level, and on his first ever start for his country, curled in a brilliant goal in Spain’s 4-0 demolition of Ukraine in the Nations League.
Speaking after the match, Enrique was full of praise for the modest youngster.
‘When we choose the squad we do not look at his age,’ Enrique said.
‘That does not mean that we do not have to understand that Ansu Fati will play bad games and will make mistakes many times. It is part of his learning, but that self-confidence is not normal.
‘Ansu Fati is very happy and has reasons. He is only 17 years old and has to mature, but that in his second game with the national team he dares to do all this.
‘He brings hard work and humility. He has trained at an impressive pace and I am glad that he goes home with this joy.
‘At his age it is easy for these highs to go to your head, but he is mature enough to know that the path he is following is the best. He is very calm and humble.’
‘It gives me pride to work with Luis [Enrique] and the players who are here,’ Fati said after the game.
‘From the first day I’ve been welcomed with open arms and all the confidence in the world.
‘Now I’ve to keep working as always with humility and everything will come.’