Cheat with that child’s face. It’s not what it seems. Not much less. Hidden under that angelic face hides a sniper who has no mercy. Accurate like few others, he has scored five goals this season in just eight shots on goal, with an astonishing 62% success rate. A real madness.
Has traveled three of the four attack positions. He only needs to exercise midpoint
Ansu Fati has a disguise that, at times, makes him invisible on the field. Even for guys as expert as two center-backs who have been world champions: Sergio Ramos and Varane. None of them detected it last week in the classic in which Ansu Fati made his debut as nine, the third position in which Koeman has placed him in this new Barça.
He started as a left-handed winger. Or false extreme. Because his game is born in the band, but it always ends in the area (only one goal of the 13 that he has in his dizzying career has scored it from long distance, that of his first scorer against Inter), aware that that is where it really hurts.
“A tip, tip …”
He has played, although circumstantially on the right. That’s where Koeman put him in the final 24 minutes against Juve, in which he had time to provoke a penalty and be so generous with Braithwaite, that he gave him a ball that he should have finished, causing the anger of his coach for not choosing the best choice. But his entire short sports career has been a nine.
“A tip, tip …”, as they remind him at La Masia, capable of making the goal for himself. Or to understand the game as he did intelligently in the classic. When Messi scanned the horizon and discovered his friend Jordi Alba galloping down the left wing, Ansu was close to Varane and not too far from Ramos. At that moment he turned so fast that he won the space to the French, who despaired when he saw the Barça side run alone. And he forgot that Ansu was behind him.
Speed and simplicity
Sergio Ramos? The white captain reacted. But so late that he was unable to decipher, despite his enormous experience (he is 34 years old, twice as long as Ansu was), what was happening around him.
A child had started with such speed (when he saw Messi pass to Alba, he already started the race) that he arrived before anyone else, in addition to shrewdly protecting himself in the race, placing his body in front of the Madrid central defender, to liquidate her action with a sweetly talented touch.
In 5 seconds, the young he misled Varane and surpassed Ramos
The goal seemed easy. But it wasn’t. At full speed, Ansu thought and executed the technical action with perfection. He chose to open the surface of his right boot to hit the ball, dodging the dangerous proximity of the immense Courtois – he was barely a meter away – with a precise shot to the left post.
He took the ball away from the Belgian goal, defeated like Varane, Ramos and Mendy, the side who came from the other side to close it, but he did not have time, due to the speed and simplicity of the Barça youth.
One touch, one goal in his first classic as a starter and in his first classic as nine. This is Ansu, a forward who is never there. But it always comes. When they ask about him, he has already disappeared from the soccer crime scene. He disappeared from the area. In five seconds, he misled Varane, he fled from Ramos, it was a utopia for Mendy, Courtois was beaten and Ansu, meanwhile, began to kiss the culé shield.
Right handed and header
He scores more goals with his right, right-handed as he is, but he has a more than interesting passing game. His first Barça goal was at El Sadar with a precise header, as if he were a former center forward. Nothing is surprising in La Masia where they had already seen many goals suspended in the air. “Of course, the ease with which he does everything is surprising,” admits Luis Enrique, the Spanish coach. That is Ansu’s true treasure.
Play simple. And easy. With enormous efficiency because it always focuses well, regardless of where it starts positionally. He only needs to play as a midfielder, the only unexplored territory for Ansu in Koeman’s Barça. Wherever he plays he leaves his mark. You also don’t need to shoot too much.
He has 11 shots in the 399 minutes he has played this season. Eight of them have had good direction. They were going to the door. And five have ended in goal. And 53% of those 13 goals signed as a professional did so at the first touch. The work of a sniper with a child’s face, who when he invades the area is transformed.