Ernesto Valverde praised 16-year-old Ansu Fati’s impact after becoming Barcelona’s youngest ever goalscorer in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Osasuna.
Ansu Fati, who is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, came on for the second half and scored a superb header to equalise for the Catalan club after Roberto Torres gave Osasuna an early lead.
The Guinean forward’s goal made him Barcelona’s youngest scorer at just 16 years and 304 days of age. Previously, that title belonged to Bojan Krkic (now with MLS side Montreal Impact) at 17 years and 53 days.
Lionel Messi, meanwhile, rounds up the top-three in this exclusive list by scoring his first Blaugrana goal at 17 years and 311 days.
Ansu Fati also became La Liga’s third-youngest scorer behind Fabrice Olinga (16 years and 98 days) and Iker Muniain (16 years and 289 days).
“He’s a forward who takes on the opposition, and he’s a good finisher, as he showed with the goal,” said Valverde, according to Sport.
“We thought we lacked a spark when we brought him on.
“He’s a young player, but there are a lot of good things about them: dribbling, confidence, forcing the opposition back. He came on when we were losing, at a tough ground, and he responded well.”
Shortly after Ansu Fati’s historic goal, Arthur Melo scored to put Barcelona into the lead in Pamplona.
But Gerard Pique’s handball in the area allowed Torres to smash home an 81st-minute penalty to settle the game with a 2-2 draw.
“We were not good in the first half but we were good in the second half, we had them pinned back,” added Valverde.
“When we got in front, we had the chance to extend our lead, but there was an absurd moment, a penalty, and it’s a shame because we had the game there to be won and we should have killed it off.
“It’s about imposing ourselves on the opposition. The opponents always press us because it’s one of the games of the year for them. You have to know how to control that.”
Barcelona have only managed four points from their first three La Liga games this season. It’s their lowest tally since the beginning of the 2008/09 campaign.
Although Valverde should be able to welcome back Lionel Messi from injury for their next La Liga match against Valencia on September 14.