Barcelona teenager Ansu Fati made an emotional comeback on Sunday for the Catalan giants, coming off the bench and scoring in a 3-0 win over Levante after over 10 months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
It was a remarkable moment for the 18-year-old who has taken over Lionel Messi’s No. 10 shirt at the Camp Nou and is widely regarded as one of the club’s most exciting young talents.
Fati’s teammates were quick to react to his comeback goal on social media. Midfielder Riqui Puig, who also featured as a substitute in the win, was delighted to see the attacker back on the pitch.
“Congratulations Ansu Fati,” he wrote on Instagram, “You deserve it more than anyone. Magical afternoon at the CampNou, thank you culers.”
Meanwhile, there was a post-match hug from midfielder Frenkie de Jong who was forced to miss the game through suspension. The Dutchman also had some kind words for his teammate. He wrote on Instagram, “Happy to see you back on the pitch amigo.”
Fati’s goal sealed a comprehensive 3-0 win for Barcelona over Levante and ends a run of three games without a victory for the Catalan giants. The three points will also relieve some of the pressure on coach Ronald Koeman who continues to be linked with a Camp Nou exit.
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Fati Is Barcelona’s New Hero
Barcelona supporters seem to have made it clear that Fati is the team’s new hero following the departure of Messi. There was a huge ovation for the teenager when he finally came off the bench in the 82nd minute.
Fans were also spotted chasing Fati’s car away from the Camp Nou as he departed the stadium after the win on Sunday. ESPN’s Samuel Marsden shared footage of supporters hoping to catch a glimpse of the No. 10.
The youngster’s return is a big boost for the club after a difficult summer and a disappointing start to the new campaign. Fati also offers Koeman more options in attack, particularly with Sergio Aguero, Ousmane Dembele, and Martin Braithwaite still out injured.
Barcelona Coach Talks Fati Return
Koeman was not on the bench for Sunday’s match, after being handed a two-game touchline ban, which meant his assistant, Alfred Schreuder, took over post-match responsibilites.
The Dutchman fielded questions from reporters at a news conference after the game and was delighted to see Fati back out on the pitch and scoring goals for the Catalan giants, are reported by Marca.
“We know he is a great player. He has an individual quality that we need and that we know he has. We are very happy to have him ready to play again,” he said. “Today we have played very good football. The players have been involved. It is very good that Ansu has come, but the rest of the players we cannot forget them. They have played an excellent game. People like Gavi, Nico. The fans were very happy.”
The result means Barcelona remain unbeaten in La Liga so far this season after six games played and will leapfrog Atletico Madrid in the table with victory over the defending champions on Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.