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Former Barcelona star’s advice to struggling youngster: “Know what it means to wear the shirt”

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Former Barcelona forward and academy graduate Bojan Krkic announced his retirement from the game of football earlier today.

Once likened to Lionel Messi when he broke into the first-team setup at Camp Nou, the attacker never really hit the heights expected of him. And after a journeyman’s career which took him to Italy, Holland, England and Japan, Bojan called time on his career earlier today.

During the announcement ceremony, held at Auditori 1899 of Barcelona, Bojan spoke about his time at the club, recalling his most memorable moment when he scored his first goal for the Blaugrana while also crediting former manager Frank Rijkaard for having a great influence on his career and development.

At the same time, Bojan was asked if he had any advice for fellow academy graduate Ansu Fati, who has been billed as the heir to Lionel Messi, but has struggled for game-time in the ongoing campaign.

Bojan is aware of what the pressure of comparisons and hype can do to a footballer’s mindset. And the retiring footballer told Fati and the other youngsters to first and foremost understand what it means to be a Barcelona player and stressed on the importance of patience and calmness.

The former forward said (h/t GOAL): “Not only him, but all youngsters – know what it means to wear the shirt, there are thousands who would come walking to play. There are youngsters who already want to be in the first team, one should have calmness & patience.”

Fati has endured a tough couple of years due to injuries. But, despite having fully recovered this season, the 20-year-old has found game-time hard to come by under Xavi.

Given his dull displays and the club’s need to generate revenue, there have been talks of selling Fati in the summer. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the young La Masia ace, who was given the No. 10 jersey by Barça following Messi’s exit in 2021.

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