When Ansu Fati broke a 95-year national record to become Spain’s youngest goalscorer at the age of 17 years and 311 days in September 2020 it provided the latest demonstration of why perhaps no player’s reputation had grown to the same extent over the previous 12 months. He was only 16 when he made history with Barcelona, when becoming the youngest player in La Liga history to register both a goal and an assist in the same game. In that 5-2 victory over Valencia, he needed just seven minutes to do so.
Only 110 seconds had passed when the forward scored from Frenkie de Jong’s low cross, with a right-footed finish. After a further five minutes he advanced into the penalty area before playing the pass from which De Jong then scored. Many fine players have progressed through Barça’s Masia in the modern era, but since Pep Guardiola’s departure in 2012 there have been fewer. That Ansu continues to make such progress means that hopes around him are particularly high.