Barca's Messi Replacement Says 'Fight' For Title 'Has Begun'

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Barcelona captain Lionel Messi confirmed the players will take a 70 per cent pay cut during Spain's state of alarm
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi confirmed the players will take a 70 per cent pay cut during Spain's state of alarm

Barcelona’s new No. 10 has made a statement comeback at Camp Nou.

Ansu Fati didn’t fail to make his Barcelona return an unforgettable moment as he netted the club’s final goal on Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Levante.

After hitting the back of the net in the closing minutes of the game, Fati ran over to the stands and celebrated with his doctor.

The reaction from the Barca crowd even made it more monumental.

“I did not imagine a return like this,” Fati told Marca post-game. “Here you always have to win. I am happy about the victory. I thank the doctors and physios who have been with me. Also to the fans.”

“I have thought about helping in the team,” he continued. “I have also thought about my family, who have suffered these months. Also for the people of the club. They have been a great support for me in all these months.”

Prior to the 18-year-old’s return, Barcelona was in the midst of a disappointing run. Now that he’s back, Fati has vowed to “fight for everything” and “help” the club win.

“I will try to add what I can,” the forward swore. “I will try to help the coach and be available to help. It will depend on how I find myself. I will have to earn the minutes. This is very a long process, it has just begun. We are Barça and we have to fight for everything.”

Fati further stressed that bearing Lionel Messi’s iconic No. 10 shirt is not really much of a challenge but more of a “pride.”

“For me, the [no.] 10 is not a pressure, it is a pride,” he pointed out. “I thank the club and the captains for giving me the opportunity to wear it. It is not pressure, but gratitude. We are Barça, we are going to fight for LaLiga, for the [UEFA] Champions League, and for everything. We are Barça and we have to fight and work for that.”


Ansu Fati became the youngest player to score in the Champions League when he netted Barcelona's winner away to Inter
Ansu Fati became the youngest player to score in the Champions League when he netted Barcelona's winner away to Inter
Photo: AFP / Isabella BONOTTO

As Barcelona enjoys Fati’s return, manager Ronald Koeman emphasized that they will not be forcing the youngster’s progress.

"We have a plan and we will follow a plan to get Ansu [Fati] back to his best,” Koeman said before the match. “He will go through a process to get minutes. ”

“The most important thing is to get the player back properly, not to rush things. There is a long way to go before he is like he was before. You don't get that back in two games or two weeks. We have to be careful. We have to be very focused on this with the medical team. We are talking about a young player who will give us a lot of quality, but little by little."

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