Lionel Messi is Ansu Fati’s ‘Soccer Father’ at Barcelona

Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati

Getty Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati celebrate

Ansu Fati’s father, Bori Fati, has been talking about Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and the huge influence the Argentine has on his 17-year-old son at the Camp Nou.

Fati spoke in glowing terms to Cadena Ser’s El Larguero programme about Messi and how he is a father figure to his son at the club.

“Messi is Ansu’s soccer father, he is the father of every soccer player because there is no other like Messi. If you are next to Messi you have to be very happy and thank God because there is nothing better than that.”

The teenager has enjoyed a stellar breakthrough season at Barcelona that has brought reports of interest from Premier League giants Manchester United. The Catalan giants have already insisted they will not sell Fati, while his father said he has not heard from the Red Devils.

“We are enjoying life at Barcelona. But my son must be patient for his chances, as he is playing with the greatest footballer ever in Lionel Messi. The United links are not true, Ansu is happy here, he is following his dreams. He does not have to start every game, and he has Griezmann and Suarez ahead of him. Ansu has a lot of time.”

Fati signed a new and improved contract at Barcelona in December 2019. The deal runs until June 2022 and includes the option for two more seasons. His release clause is set at €170 million but will increase to €400m when he is officially promoted to the first team.

Fati Set For More Game Time?

Barcelona’s latest superstar has made 25 appearances for the first team this season, scoring five times, and looks set for more game time during the run-in as the club aim to retain their title.

Fati’s latest goal came in the 2-0 win over Leganes, but he also impressed off the bench in the 1-0 victory over Athletic on Tuesday. Indeed his performance drew praise from manager Quique Setien after the game in his virtual press conference.

“We were more relaxed in the second half and played much better. Ansu and Riqui gave us dynamism and allowed us to have longer periods of possession.”

Setien has since been urged by Barcelona to hand Fati and Puig more game time and give the young duo more prominence in the first team, according to Sport’s Javier Giraldo.

Celta up Next for Barcelona and Fati

Fati is in contention to start Barcelona’s next game away at Celta Vigo. Antoine Griezmann’s place in the starting XI is in some doubt as he is on a poor run of form currently.

Luis Suarez may also be handed a breather. The Uruguayan has started Barcelona’s last two matches after a five-month lay-off because of knee surgery and has looked off the pace.

Lionel Messi and Martin Braithwaite are also available, but Fati’s pace and lively performance off the bench last time out against Athletic could see him included in Setien’s starting XI.

READ NEXT: Barcelona Blasted For ‘Baffling’ Decision To Sell Arthur

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