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Barcelona youngster nominated for World Breakthrough of the Year award by Laureus

Aaryan Parasnis

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona’s rising star Ansu Fati, has been nominated for the World Breakthrough of the Year award by Laureus. The annual award is bestowed upon those individuals or teams, who have made breakthrough performances in the world of sports.

Fati has been nominated alongside NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes, motorbike racer Joan Mir, Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar and tennis stars Iga Swiatek and Dominic Thiem, who both won their first Grand Slam titles in 2020.

Ansu Fati was enjoying a stellar season with Barcelona since the beginning of the 2020-21 campaign. However, in early November, the youngster suffered a knee injury against Real Betis in La Liga. He underwent surgery on the internal meniscus of his left knee and has been sidelined since.

The teenager is currently recovering and following a biological regenerative treatment plan outlined by Dr. Ramon Cugat. Prior to his injury the winger was in fine form and had scored five goals and grabbed two assists in ten appearances across all competitions. He is now expected to gradually return to full fitness by April.

Fati has been making breakthroughs ever since his Barcelona debut, where he became the second youngest player to represent the club in La Liga. He also became the club’s youngest league goalscorer as well as the youngest ever scorer in the Champions League and for the Spanish national team.

The Laureus award nomination is another feather added to the cap in what will surely be a glittering career. Due to the pandemic, the Laureus World Sports awards will have a virtual ceremony this year but the awards will be handed over personally wherever possible.

It was the great César Luis Menotti who once said that "to be a footballer means being a privileged interpreter of the feelings and dreams of many, many people". This quote has stuck with me since my childhood when football first caught my attention. My interest in football developed from a hobby to an emotion embedded into every fibre of my being. Football and Barça became my life. I spend every waking moment thinking about football and my sentimentality towards FC Barcelona is a catalyst. The world's most popular sport is a universal language that unites everyone who loves it and, to me, writing about football is being able to transmit that language in my own way.

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Just in: Neymar’s entourage confirms renewal with PSG as he ‘likes the project’

Udhav Arora

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Photo via Imago

Fabrizio Romano has broken huge news as part of Neymar’s contract situation with Paris Saint-Germain, which all but officially announces that the Brazilian will be staying in France, contrary to what has been reported recently. The report suggests that that he will sign his extension soon, which is bound to include a massive UCL bonus.

Neymar’s entourage have confirmed his decision to stay with the Paris outfit in conversation with France Football, saying, “Neymar wants to stay at PSG. He sees that the club is growing. He likes the project.”

PSG have, in fact, actually enjoyed success in Europe in the recent past. They reached the Champions League final last season, crumbling only to the unstoppable Bayern Munich by a mere one goal to nil. Since then, they have fired Thomas Tuchel, and hired Mauricio Pochettino, who inspired an incredible victory against Bayern in this season’s Champions League quarters. Spearheaded by Neymar and Mbappe, the capital-side hit the defending champions for three goals, conceding two.

Despite their lead in the UCL, they do not have a stronghold on the trophy with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, and Real Madrid still in the running. It becomes a lot more problematic when you realise their situation in Ligue 1.

PSG look far from comfortable in the league, which is a shocker to say the least. As it stands, Pochettino’s mean are in second place with 66 points, three adrift of Lille who top the table with one of the most impressive defensive records in Europe.

A season without either of the big trophies might force Neymar to have a change of mind, with the Barcelona project looking much more comprehensive under Joan Laporta. In fact, the new President might look at the Brazilian as the key that will allow Lionel Messi to stay at the club. We do the same rumours annually, so it is only fair if any of these ‘confirmations’ are turned on their head in the coming weeks.

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