‘Playing with Messi is a dream I am now living’: Ansu Fati hails influence of Barcelona talisman after spearheading Ronald Koeman to a debut victory over Villarreal
- Ansu Fati stole the show with two goals for Barcelona against Villarreal
- Fati was not even two years old when Lionel Messi made his Barcelona debut
- But the 17-year-old has now stated the Argentine is helping him to improve
- Messi also scored from the spot before a Pau Torres own goal at the Camp Nou
With all the pre-match build-up centring on Messi’s anger at the club’s decision to force Luis Suarez out and join Atletico Madrid, Fati stole the show by giving Barca an early advantage with two expertly taken finishes in the opening 20 minutes.
Fati, 17, who was not even two years old when Messi made his Barca debut back in 2004, recalled a childhood looking up to the six-times world player of the year and said the Argentinean was helping him improve.
Barcelona wonderkid Ansu Fati said he is learning from club superstar Lionel Messi
The 17-year-old Spain international scored twice to fire Barcelona to victory against Villarreal
‘Playing with Messi is a dream I had since I was a child and now I am living it,’ the forward told reporters.
‘He gives me a lot of advice, he helps me a lot on the pitch and in training, but away from it too, and that makes me very happy.’
The forward burst on to the scene last season when he became Barca’s youngest ever league goalscorer and looks to be on the path to even greater things, with far more opportunities on the horizon this campaign due to Suarez’s departure.
‘I want to keep improving every day, to continue to learn from my team mates because they are the best around and they are trying to help me every day,’ he added.
Messi also scored from the spot before a Pau Torres own goal made it four before half-time
Barca coach Ronald Koeman revealed he had admonished Fati for his performance in the team’s last pre-season game against Elche but praised his movement and clinical finishing against Villarreal.
‘I had criticised him against Elche but today I told him he had a great game, he was very direct and we made the most of his quality,’ said the Dutchman.
‘He’s a young player who has to look to perform consistently and he showed he had a great future and I’m so happy after his game today.’
Ronald Koeman praised Fati for his display having criticised his performance against Elche