Barcelona’s Ansu Fati, 17, youngest-ever Champions League goalscorer
Ansu Fati’s record-breaking season continued as he became the youngest player to ever score in the Champions League when he netted Barcelona’s winner against Inter Milan on Tuesday.
The teenage forward came off the bench at the San Siro to score in the 87th minute to seal a 2-1 victory which saw Inter Milan drop into the Europa League.
Aged 17 years and 40 days, the goal sees him take the record from former Ghana striker Peter Ofori-Quaye, who was 17 years and 194 days old when he scored his first Champions League goal for Olympiacos against Rosenborg in the group stage of the 1997/98 season.
“I’ve just been told [I have broken the record]. I am super happy with the goal and with the win,” Fati said after the match.
“It’s a dream. Everything seems to be happening so quickly. It’s just about enjoying myself and learning from the best. Every time I get a chance, I will try to take it, either by scoring goals or by working hard.”
Describing the goal, Fati said: “I gave the ball to Suarez and he gave it back to me. And, when I scored, I was surprised because the whole stadium was silent. I was thinking: ‘What have I just done?’ But I am really happy.”
Fati had already become the youngest ever La Liga scorer for Barcelona earlier this season. He was 16 years and 304 days old when he netted against Osasuna in August.
That record had previously been held by Bojan Krkic, whose first league goal for Barca came when he was 17 years and 53 days old. Lionel Messi’s first arrived at 17 years and 331 days old.
A week after his goal against Osasuna, Fati became the youngest player to ever score and assist a goal in the same game in La Liga when he made his first start for Barcelona against Valencia.
His form this season was rewarded with an improved contract last week.
Romelu Lukaku had earlier levelled the scores in Milan after Carles Perez, another academy graduate, had given Barcelona the lead in the first half.
“[Ansu] is incredibly talented,” Perez told Movistar. “We’re an example for the kids coming through the La Masia [academy], in the sense that if you believe, you can do it.
“Barca have confidence in the guys in the academy. They can be a success at this club.”
Ansu and Perez were part of a much-changed Barca side, with Messi and Gerard Pique not even in the squad and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Frenkie de Jong and Luis Suarez all left on the bench.
The Spanish champions had already qualified as group winners but Inter needed to match Borussia Dortmund’s result to join them in the last 16.
The Germans beat Slavia Prague 2-1, though, which meant Inter finished third in the group and will play in the Europa League in the New Year.