In an explosive interview, Ansu Fati’s father, Bori Fati, has lashed out at FC Barcelona for the lack of game-time that the 20-year-old has received this season and has sensationally claimed that he wants the youngster to leave in the summer if the situation does not improve.
Ansu Fati has found minutes hard to come by this season despite having put his injury woes behind him. Even though he has featured in most matches played by the Catalans this term, the forward has largely come off the bench, with starts not coming frequently.
Even on the occasions that he has started, Fati has looked rusty, which is bound to happen given the lack of continuity. Ansu’s father held a meeting with Barcelona directors Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff earlier this week to discuss the situation.
Following that, he has taken his grievances public during an interview with COPE, as he said: “Ansu does not want to leave Barcelona, but I want to see him succeed. I won’t go to the stadium anymore, I’m very angry with the club. In a month we will meet with Jorge Mendes, for sure.”
“It bothers me that Ansu plays so little. We’re talking about a player that is a Spanish international and came from La Masia. He deserves much more than that.”
Not stopping there, Bori Fati went on to question manager Xavi Hernandez’s decision to use the young forward so infrequently, saying:
“I don’t know why Xavi does not play Ansu. He must have his reasons. Ansu is not disgusted with him, as Xavi was always his idol. But me, I am very angry as a father.”
He then went on to reveal that he has advised Ansu to leave the club in the summer, but the 20-year-old does not see things the same way and wants to remain at Barcelona.
“Mateu Alemany tells me that Ansu is part of the club’s heritage. As a father, I have told Ansu that it is better for him to leave. But Ansu has told me that he does not agree with me on this. He wants to stay,” Bori Fati said.
“If it was up to me, I would leave Barcelona tomorrow. I told Ansu that if the situation didn’t change, we would have to leave, but he tells me that I’m wrong,” he added.
When asked if Ansu was aware of what he was saying during the interview, Bori Fati replied: “No. He’s sleeping, and he can’t hear me because the house is very big.”
Taking aim at Luis Enrique for Fati’s lack of game-time during the FIFA World Cup 2022, he said: “For what happened at the World Cup, I would have preferred Ansu not to have gone. At the World Cup, you’re beating Costa Rica by 7 goals and Luis Enrique does not even send the kid to warm up…”
Bori Fati further went on to express his dismay at his son’s situation, claiming that Barcelona’s #10 deserved better treatment, while also comparing his situation with Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr’s two years ago.
“I really don’t understand how Ansu Fati has few minutes… We are talking about Barça’s number 10,” he said.
“Do you remember how people used to kill Vinicius two years ago? The same thing can happen with Ansu. All I’m asking is for people to protect him. He’s Barça’s #10 and comes from La Masia.”
There was also a subtle hint that he would not oppose Ansu joining Real Madrid in the future, although the player himself does not seem to like the Merengues.
“I won’t criticize Real Madrid because you never know about the circles that life gives. I don’t think my son likes them, though,” Bori Fati added.
He then went on to question how the La Masia ace used to start in a team with superstars such as Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi in the past but had been frozen out now.
“Before the injury, Ansu Fati was starting matches in a squad with Griezmann, Dembélé and Suarez. How come he doesn’t play now? Physically, he’s in top shape,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to Xavi a few times and I can tell that he’s a good guy. He’s helped Ansu a lot tactically, but I don’t know why Ansu is not playing. Ansu could never disagree with him, as Xavi has always been his idol. We had posters of him at our house.”
Bori Fati further went on to accuse Barcelona of mistreating his son and rushing him back from injury when the club needed him, but now that he is fully fit, they never use him, as he said:
“When Barça were much worse than they are now, they forced Ansu Fati to come back from injury to play. They used to want Ansu to make the people happy again. Now that he’s 100% fit and ready, nobody wants Ansu? Did he forget to play football or what?”
“Ansu Fati is Barça’s franchise player… He deserves more minutes,” he added.
Needless to say, the interview is bound to ruffle some feathers at the club. It had been reported that Bori Fati and Jorge Mendes were pushing the young forward to leave in the summer and it has become clearer where they stand.
Ansu, for his part, wishes to stay and fight, as per his father’s statements. Only time will tell how this saga progresses, especially with clubs in the Premier League lying in wait to sign up the La Masia prodigy.