January 23, 2022

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

Barcelona May Not Have ‘Messi Successor’ In Champions League Match Against Bayern Munich

KEY POINTS

  • Barcelona’s Ansu Fati has been nursing a hamstring injury
  • Barca president Joan Laporta provided an update on Fati’s status
  • Manager Xavi Hernandez wants his No. 10 to be “100%” fit first before returning

Barcelona can only hope that its new talisman can make his return soon and help the club win important games this season.

Ansu Fati has not enjoyed a healthy season since his maiden Barcelona senior team season in the 2019-20 campaign. Injuries had seen him sidelined for most of the past season, and now, he is out once again due to a hamstring injury he suffered last month during their match against Celta Vigo.

Barca president Joan Laporta has once again been asked by reporters to provide an update on Fati’s status for the club’s UEFA Champions League final group fixture against Bundesliga side Bayern Munich next week. According to Laporta, the prolific forward is eager to rejoin the club, but as per the doctor’s advice, it is still “very difficult” to gamble on it at this point.

“He wanted to play but the doctors have told me that it is very difficult,” Laporta said of Fati on Spanish channel TV3.

“You have to protect the player so that he does not relapse and spend more time out,” the Barcelona chief explained.

Ansu Fati (R) is leading the next generation of young Barcelona talents. Ansu Fati (R) is leading the next generation of young Barcelona talents. Photo: AFP / LLUIS GENE

Fati has yet to play a single minute under new Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez. Despite having won his first two La Liga matches, Xavi is well aware of how important it is to have the teenage soccer prodigy in his attack.

Once again, Fati did not play in Barca’s La Liga loss to Real Betis. Before the game, Xavi vowed not to force the youngster to make his return until he’s “100%” fit.

“Ansu [Fati] is doing a tremendous effort to be back with the team and it makes me emotional to see how hard he works,” Xavi confessed. “We know the importance of that game, but I hope and I want him to be comfortable.”

“We know that these next matches are important for us,” the coach continued. “Until he’s 100% he won’t be back with the team. I’m not going to force any players. We did that in the past and we lost them. When he’s 100% he’ll be back with the team.”

Prior to being injured again this season, Fati, who was chosen by Barcelona to succeed Lionel Messi as the club’s No. 10, was still in fine form in terms of goal scoring. In fact, he managed to notch an impressive four goals in his first eight matches for the Catalans across all competitions.

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