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Ansu Fati's Father Says He Turned Down Real Madrid in Favour of Barcelona

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIAugust 26, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 25: Ansu Fati of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Real Betis Sevilla at the Camp Nou on August 25, 2019 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The father of Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati has said his son turned down a bigger offer from Real Madrid before he joined the Catalan giants in 2012.

Bori Fati told RAC1 (h/t Sport) that Los Blancos offered more money than their La Liga rivals, but he was persuaded to join Barcelona after talking to La Masia director Albert Puig.

"I had an offer from Madrid, which was for a lot of money," he said. "But Albert Puig came and told me they were from Barca and had a project. In a few years I saw what they meant. We knew it would work but we never imagined he would be playing alongside such beasts. Training with Pique."

The Guinea-Bissau native became the second youngest player to debut for Barcelona in La Liga on Sunday when he came on after 78 minutes of the 5-2 La Liga win over Real Betis at the Camp Nou:

Goal @goal

Ansu Fati is the youngest player to play for Barcelona in La Liga since 1941, at 16 years and 298 days 👶 He was born on October 31, 2002 🤯 https://t.co/cPEmYqzQC5

The 16-year-old's appearance was welcomed by club captain Lionel Messi. He wrote on Facebook that he was "really happy to see our academy players achieve their dream of making the first team."

Messi also offered the teenager a hug after the game:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Lionel Messi hugged 16-year-old Ansu Fati after he became the youngest player to start for Barcelona since 1941 👑 https://t.co/XQF0iBUFyA

Fati only trained with the first team for the first time three days before the match, per Jordi Delgado at Sport.

Injuries to key attackers such as Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele meant Barcelona were short of options in attack and saw Ernesto Valverde turn to the Juvenil A star.

The left-winger spoke to Barca TV (h/t Sport) about how he felt after making his first appearance for the first team at the Camp Nou: "It's true that I was really nervous, but I can only offer words of gratitude to everyone: to the club, the coach, and the supporters who gave me such a warm reception."

The club confirmed that Fati trained with the first team again on Monday, and he may see more game time on Saturday when Barcelona take on Osasuna in La Liga.