Picking up the award for the top male young footballer despite being out since November due to injury, the NXGN 2021 winner Ansu Fati has spoken about his dream of playing at Euro cups, saying that he hopes to be there but needs to recover first. The Barcelona forward initially underwent surgery on November after suffering an injury against Real Betis.
“I hope I can be [Euro 2020 football matches], but first I have to recover from the injury,” Ansu Fati told a sports news publisher. “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but it is a dream for any player to be able to play a European Championship. I don’t set goals, but I do try to improve day by day, growing as a player, and as a person.”
The 18-year-old is currently recovering from a torn meniscus in his left knee picked up in November. According to reports, Ansu has met with knee specialists in France along with the Barcelona medical team after suffering from an inflammation in the joint where the meniscus was torn last month. A decision has been made to submit his knee to a stress test for the next 15 days before making a call.
Ansu made his international debut in September last year and became his country’s youngest ever goalscorer after scoring at the age of 17 years and 311 days against Ukraine on just his second appearance for Luis Enrique’s side. The previous record was set in 1925 by Juan Errazquin, who scored his first international goal aged 18 years and 344 days.
The Spanish international also 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. His also the youngest scorer in LaLiga and the youngest Champions League debutant and scorer in the history of the Champions League by netting against Inter Milan in December.
Barca’s wonderkid is the sixth male winner of the NXGN award and follows in the footsteps of footballers like Jadon Sancho, Gigi Donnarumma and Rodrygo. “First of all, I want to thank the people who have voted for me and, of course, my teammates; without them, this would not have been possible. Also, thank you to all the coaches I have had,” he said after receiving the award.
Spain’s three group stage matches plus a last-16 fixture will be hosted by San Mamés stadium. Luis Enrique’s side had an injury-time goal from Rodrigo to draw 1-1 with Sweden in Stockholm and book their place at Euro 2020. Spain also won the competition in 1964 and the first nation to have won consecutive titles in 2008 and 2012.
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