In a UEFA Nations League match over the weekend, Barcelona’s Ansu Fati has scored his debut goal and became the youngest player to score for Spain during his country’s 4-0 win against Ukraine. At the age of 17 years, 311 days, Fati scored Spain’s third goal in the 32nd minute and broke the 95-year record that was set by Juan Errazquin, who scored his first international goal aged 18 years and 344 days.
Fati had also earned a penalty at the start of the game which led to Sergio Ramos giving Spain the lead from the spot in the third minute. Ramos also scored Spain’s second goal, heading home in the 29th minute. Fati became Spain’s youngest player in 84 years since Ángel Zubieta in 1936 when he made his debut in last week 1-1 draw away to Germany.
Fati became Barca’s second youngest debutant in 2019 and the youngest ever goalscorer in La Liga in the same year with a goal against Osasuna. He is also the youngest player to ever start and the youngest goalscorer in Camp Nou. Fati also became the youngest Champions League debutant and the youngest ever scorer in the history of the Champions League by netting against Inter Milan in December.
Spain coach Luis Enrique said he had rarely seen the level of confidence that Barcelona forward Fati has displayed with the national team. “It is not normal,” Luis Enrique said. “At his age it is very easy for the hype to get to you, but Ansu is mature enough to stay on the path that he is following. He is level-headed and with his feet on the ground.”
When asked if the youngster can step into the shoes of legend Lionel Messi at club level: “At this age it’s easy for all the praise to go to your head but he’s mature enough to know that the path he is taking at the moment is the one he needs to stay on to develop as a player,” Enrique said. “He’s humble, he’s calm and I’m sure it won’t affect him.”
New Manchester City signing Ferran Torres capped the win with a goal in the 84th after coming on as a substitute. Spain leads its Nations League group with four points after Germany drew 1-1 with Switzerland. Ukraine has three points, Germany two and Switzerland one in Group 4 of League A. Fati, born in Guinea-Bissau, was given Spanish citizenship last year.
With this stunning performance, the fate of the 2008 and 2012 edition champions in Euro 2020 next year seems bright. Earlier, Enriquez has called up Fati for the first time, and asked the teenager to score goals for him. “This is the squad I would choose if we were playing the Euros today,” said the Spain manager. The Euro 2020 will now take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021.