Barcelona Starlet Ansu Fati Given Spanish Citizenship, National Team Eligibility

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2019

Anssumane Fati of FC Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Barcelona at at the BVB stadium on September 17, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona's 16-year-old sensation Ansu Fati has been granted Spanish citizenship, meaning he will be able to represent Spain at international level.

Per Marca, the Guinea-Bissau-born winger had his citizenship "rubber stamped and made official" on Friday, and his first major tournament for Spain could come as early as October, when the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup will kick off in Brazil.

B/R Football @brfootball

16-year-old Barcelona forward Ansu Fati, born in Guinea-Bissau, is now eligible to play for Spain. He could take part in the U17 World Cup next month 🇪🇸 https://t.co/F2CfP0HNZe

Fati has lived in Spain since he was six, when he moved to Seville with his family.

He has never played internationally for any other country at youth level and has already committed to playing for Spain instead of Guinea-Bissau or Portugal, per Marca.

Fati joined Barca's La Masia academy in 2012 and signed his first professional contract with the Blaugrana in July.

He has since broken into the first team while Lionel Messi has been sidelined through injury, and he has made an impressive impact in three La Liga appearances and one outing in the UEFA Champions League:


Ansu Fati is now the youngest: Goalscorer in Barcelona's history ⚽️ Player to score and assist in La Liga game 🎯 Barcelona player to debut in Champions League 🏆 https://t.co/rTkz63YMPM

Messi's return to fitness is likely to restrict his game time for the remainder of the season, but he has already made a bigger impact this term than many would have expected.

Indeed, per Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden of ESPN FC, Barca are not overly enamoured by the prospect of him leaving the first-team setup at the Camp Nou to go with Spain to the U-17 World Cup.

Now that his citizenship has been approved, though, it seems like an inevitability. 


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