ibtimes: Lionel Messi has vowed to help his possible successor in Barcelona become a great soccer player like him.
Barca will not have the services of Messi in La Liga this season. However, in Messi’s absence, Ansu Fati, the 16-year-old soccer rising star has been called upon numerous times to help Barcelona defend their La Liga crown.
In his young soccer career, Fati has made five league appearances and four of which was played coming from the bench. Thus far, Fati has already scored two goals and made one assist.
Fati is one of the Barcelona youngsters who are viewed to have the potential Messi once had during his early years in soccer. In fact, the legend himself has vowed to help the teenager fulfill his dreams the same way he did.
“I like him and I’ll try to help him. He is a fantastic player and has what it takes to succeed,” Messi told Give Me Sport about Fati.
As much as Messi would like Fati to become a soccer superstar, he also wants Fati to not rush in learning things as that was also what he did when he was younger.
“But if I look through my eyes, I would like him to have a gradual participation, as happened to me when I started. It must be remembered that he is only 16 years old,” Messi emphasized.
Aside from Fati, 20-year-old Alex Collado, who stood in Barcelona’s B team match against Atletico Levante on Sunday, also appears to resemble the game of a young Messi.
In the said match, Barcelona B comfortably won 2-0, but it was Collado who grabbed the attention of the crowd with his incredible solo goal in the 90th minute.
Being left footed just like Messi, Collado carried the ball down the right flank before nutmegging an opponent to run into the box.
Collado then dragged the ball twice, poked it into the six-yard box through another opponent’s legs and produced a back-heeled finish past the goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, recent stats show that Messi has another achievement that is unlikely to be surpassed in the next several years. According to Opta, Messi has struck the back of the net from outside the box more than any other player in the top five European leagues since 2007/08 season.
The only player who has the chance to catch him is Cristiano Ronaldo. However, Ronaldo is an almost still 15 points behind and tends to shoot more from close range than outside the box.
Source: Published by ibtimes