Spain head coach Luis Enrique was quick to praise the team spirit and support in Seville as he suggested he will rotate following the 1-1 Nations League draw with Portugal.

Alvaro Morata opened the scoring after 25 minutes on Thursday, becoming La Roja's joint-seventh highest scorer in history alongside Emilio Butragueno with 26 goals.

Spain dominated for large parts of the proceedings in their Group A2 opener, but substitute Ricardo Horta scored with eight minutes remaining to ensure the spoils were shared.

Czech Republic are the next opponents for Luis Enrique's side on Sunday and the Spain boss vowed to rotate to evaluate all members of his squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

"I have suffered more than usual," he told reporters after the game. "I was seeing that it was difficult to keep up with the rhythm of the 90 minutes and that the victory could escape us.

"But I think the team has been good. The players have coped with the heat and fatigue of the season with great determination. We are going to use all the players [in the upcoming games].

"The atmosphere, the public was superb and the attitude of my players as well. I like the team spirit. Now it's time to recover and we'll see what we can improve on.

"The idea of ​​competing throughout the game penalised us. It's difficult to keep up with the pressure for 90 minutes, but in general I'm satisfied.

"In fact, overall, I'm more than satisfied and I'm sure when I see it, I'll be even happier."

Luis Enrique was quick to hail the influence of Morata, while he defended his decision to leave Ansu Fati as an unused substitute.

"We could have won and we could have lost," he continued. "He is good in this team and everywhere, he is a player who has a goal and although he is not a player with stratospheric figures, everything he gives us is very good.

"Ansu is coming to help us in the long term, I like what I see in training but he still doesn't have the rhythm to help us in everything he wants, and it's normal.

"But I'm the coach and you have to trust me there."

Both Barcelona's Adama Traore and Western Sydney Wanderers' Adama Traore got on the scoresheet as the Blaugrana saw off the A-Leagues All Stars in a 3-2 friendly win on Wednesday.

Xavi's men beat their hosts at Accor Stadium in front of an engrossed local crowd in New South Wales, as Ansu Fati's strike with 13 minutes to go claimed victory for the visitors.

In just the third-ever A-Leagues All Stars game – and first since 2014 following the format's revival – Dwight Yorke's side fell behind to the Spanish heavyweights just past the half-hour mark.

Ousmane Dembele – potentially playing his final match for Barca – latched on to a throughball before striking a clean left-footed strike into the bottom-right corner to ensure the visitors were ahead at the interval.

But Wellington Phoenix midfielder Reno Piscopo bundled home early in the second half to level matters after Barca were sliced open at the back, and he then teed up Ivory Coast international Traore to take a surprise lead.

Hopes of a shock scalp were dashed though when the latter's namesake – in possibly his last Blaugrana game as well – equalised as the goalkeeper failed to keep out his ferocious drive.

Fati then got the winner five minutes later, providing a cool finish after Antonio Aranda's solo run.

Barcelona head coach Xavi labelled Ansu Fati a "special player" after handing the 19-year-old his first league appearance since November in a 2-1 win over Real Mallorca.

Fati entered the fray as a 75th-minute substitute as the Blaugrana recorded a crucial win in their bid to secure Champions League qualification, as goals from Memphis Depay and Sergio Busquets moved Barca into second place in LaLiga, nine points clear of fifth-placed Real Betis.

Fati has recorded 14 goals and one assist in 37 appearances in LaLiga since making his Barca debut in 2019, but he has suffered an injury-plagued campaign and went over five months without making a league appearance prior to his comeback.

Speaking after the youngster's return to the pitch, Xavi lauded Fati's ability and said it was a "shame" the Catalan giants had been without him for the majority of the season.

"He is very happy to be with the group," Xavi said. "Little by little, he needs competition rhythm. Training is not the same as participating in a match and he needs time. 

"Ansu is a special player. You see him in training. He has made an effort to be with us.

"I have tried him as a number nine [in this match] so that he was close to the area, and because he is not yet ready to do many one-on-ones. 

"It's a shame that we haven't had him these months because I'm sure he would have helped us. I'm very happy for him."

Although Fati's 15-minute cameo in Barcelona's fifth win in seven LaLiga games (two defeats) was welcome news, the Blaugrana lost defender Gerard Pique to injury in the first-half, and Xavi said his former team-mate had been playing through the pain barrier to help Barca's push for a top-four finish.

"Today he told me that he was very well, but in the 10th minute he felt discomfort again. He is making a super effort for the team, he is super involved but the pain is there," Xavi added.

"In the 25th minute, he told me that he couldn't give any more and it was difficult for him to run. 

"Let's see how it is this week. Pique is very important because of his ball output, his size, his set piece [threat] and the leadership he gives to the group."

Barcelona face top-four rivals Real Betis in their next league outing on Saturday, and could mathematically confirm Champions League qualification with a win in that contest if Betis fail to win at Getafe on Monday.

Ansu Fati will be available for selection for Barcelona when they play Real Mallorca at the Camp Nou on Sunday.

Barca sit third in LaLiga, a point behind second-placed Sevilla – who have played a game more – and 18 adrift of newly crowned champions Real Madrid.

Fati has not featured for the Blaugrana since sustaining a hamstring injury in January, but head coach Xavi revealed on Saturday that the 19-year-old could return this weekend.

"We will give the squad list and Ansu will be there," he told reporters at a pre-match news conference.

"He feels very comfortable and is making efforts to return. He will play at least a few minutes. He is happy, he is smiling, a special player.

"We take great care of him, we know he is a special player. For now the feelings are very good, peaks of speed, physically very good."

The club then confirmed Fati's presence in the squad on Sunday via their Twitter page.

Barca go into the match having lost three successive home games in all competitions for just the second time in history, last doing so under Louis van Gaal between the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.

Defeat last time out against Rayo Vallecano, who became the first promoted team to complete a LaLiga double over Barca since Salamanca in 1997-98, left Xavi's side in third, and they will look to bounce back when they welcome Mallorca to Camp Nou.

Ansu Fati will feature for Barcelona against Real Mallorca for the first time in three months after sustaining a hamstring injury, Blaugrana coach Xavi confirmed.

Barca have lost their last three home games in all competitions for just the second time in history, last doing so under Louis van Gaal between the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.

Defeat against Rayo Vallecano, who became the first promoted team to complete a LaLiga double over Barca since Salamanca in 1997-98, left Xavi's side in third – 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid.

While Madrid need just a point against Espanyol on Saturday to secure the title, Barca will be boosted by the return of Fati against Mallorca on Sunday.

The 19-year-old has suffered an injury-hit campaign, last featuring in January – and not at all in LaLiga since November – managing just five league appearances this season for his 213 minutes of action.

"We will give the squad list and Ansu will be there," Xavi told reporters at a pre-match news conference. 

"He feels very comfortable and is making efforts to return. He will play at least a few minutes. He is happy, he is smiling, a special player.

"We take great care of him, we know he is a special player. For now the feelings are very good, peaks of speed, physically very good."

Fati will return to a Barca side that has scored with only one of the last 46 shots they have attempted in LaLiga, and with one of their last 57 at Camp Nou in the competition.

However, Xavi insists his side need to collectively respond instead of relying on the teenager to make things happen when he features.

"The focus has to be on the team. I understand football as a collective game. If it's only one player, when he fails the team doesn't shoot," he added.

"Everyone has to shoot. Ansu is a different player, he has to be very important from now on.

"But there is no specific focus on him or anyone, I have never understood it that way."

Barca will be without midfielder Pedri as the talented youngster continues to recover from a hamstring injury sustained against Eintracht Frankfurt earlier in April.

The Blaugrana have won eight of 10 LaLiga games that Pedri has started, in comparison to just 10 victories in 23 league games without the Spain international in the starting line-up this season.

Xavi provided a positive update on Pedri as he suggested he may be without centre-back Gerard Pique against Mallorca.

"Pedri is training separately and has a good feeling," he added. "Pique has a tendon problem. We'll see tomorrow, today he was more sore.

"Nico [Gonzalez] broke his finger in a collision with Ansu. A shame because we don't have plenty of midfielders, but that's football."

One midfielder that could leave his mark, though, is the out of favour Frenkie de Jong, who was seemingly unhappy after his substitution in Barca's last game.

"We had a very good face-to-face talk," Xavi said of De Jong. 

"It's obvious that this change frustrated him, but I have to look out for the team. He's had excellent games, but he has to be constant.

"He's capable and is here to make a difference. He's a very important player for the present and for the future".

Ansu Fati was back in group training at Barcelona for the first time in over two months on Monday. 

Spain international Fati has been out of action since suffering a hamstring injury in the Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic Bilbao on January 20. 

The 19-year-old, who took the number 10 shirt vacated by Lionel Messi ahead of this season, has been blighted by injuries and played just 20 times in all competitions since the start of 2020-21. 

Barca posted footage on social media of Fati being applauded back onto the training pitch by his team-mates. 

He will combine training with the squad with an individual workout programme as he continues his recovery. 

Barcelona have confirmed that Ansu Fati will not undergo surgery on the hamstring injury he sustained against Athletic Bilbao last week.

Fati was substituted during Thursday's Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic Bilbao, with the club later confirming he had suffered another injury setback.

Rather than send Fati for surgery, Barca will instead let the 19-year-old's tendon heal naturally by following "a conservative recovery plan".

The Catalan giants announced the news on their Twitter account on Tuesday, but no timeframe for the winger's lay-off was given.

According to reports from Spain, Barca are set to be without Fati for several weeks, rather than months.

However, it still marks another blow for Fati, who appeared to be in tears as he left the pitch against Athletic, with this the latest in a series of problematic injuries.

Fati has featured in just 10 games across all competitions this season, and he had only recently returned from a two-month absence due to a previous hamstring problem.

He previously spent 10 months out due to a serious knee injury, only returning to action in September.

Despite his limited action, Fati is Barcelona's second-highest scorer in 2021-22 with five goals, three fewer than Memphis Depay, who has played 13 more times.

Fati's goals have come in just 456 minutes of on-pitch action, while he has out-performed his expected goals (xG) of 1.92, suggesting his finishing has been well above standard.

Writing on his official Instagram account on Sunday, Fati vowed to keep on fighting on his road back from another spell on the sidelines.

"Unfortunately, I am having to live through the worst part of football," he posted. "But I will never give up! Thank you very much for your messages of support and love!"

Ansu Fati feels he is living through the worst part of football after he sustained yet another injury that is likely to keep him out for a while.

The Barcelona talent had to be substituted during Thursday's Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic Bilbao, with the club confirming he had suffered a muscle strain to his hamstring.

It is still to be decided if the 19-year-old has surgery, but it is widely reported that he is expected to be out for at least a couple of months.

Such an absence would be a crushing blow for Fati, who appeared to be in tears as he left the pitch against Athletic, with this the latest in a series of problematic injuries.

The teenager has featured in just 10 games across all competitions this season, and he had only recently returned from a two-month hamstring injury lay-off.

Fati previously spent 10 months on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury, resuming his Barcelona career in September this season.

Prior to his return, Fati was seen as the poster boy for the post-Lionel Messi era at Camp Nou, even inheriting the Argentina great's number 10 jersey.

Despite his woes, he has vowed to keep on fighting.

Writing on his official Instagram account, Fati said: "Unfortunately, I am having to live through the worst part of football.

"But I will never give up! Thank you very much for your messages of support and love!"

It is expected to be announced on Monday whether Fati has surgery or not.

Xavi has told Ousmane Dembele to stop prevaricating and either sign a new Barcelona deal or find another club by the end of January.

According to Xavi, there is "no alternative" for the French forward, who has entered the final six months of his contract at Camp Nou.

Dembele has struggled since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for an initial €105million, and this month's transfer window could be a final chance for the club to recoup some of that outlay.

Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany told Dembele this week he must leave "immediately", which prompted the 24-year-old to issue an angry riposte on social media.

"I am not a man who cheats and even less a man who has a habit of giving in to blackmail," Dembele wrote.

Barcelona are fed up and want a resolution one way or the other, with Xavi seemingly willing to keep Dembele and let this storm pass if he agrees to extend his contract before the end of the month.

"Ousmane's situation hasn't changed," said Xavi on Saturday. "He has to decide. He is training well, but he knows his situation perfectly. There is no more debate, I think I was clear. It depends on him now. There are still days left and there is no alternative."

 

The situation is one that Barcelona could do without as they reel from a Copa del Rey exit at Athletic Bilbao's hands, and the crushing blow of losing teenage forward Ansu Fati yet again to a hamstring injury.

Fati could be out of action for months after the substitute was substituted during the Bilbao game, seemingly in tears as he left the pitch.

Xavi said the plan, agreed with club doctor Ricard Pruna, was for Fati to play for half an hour, so when the cup game went to extra time it conflicted with Barca's intentions.

Fati, who entered the game just after the hour mark, came off injured in the 96th minute, an apparent recurrence of the problem that had recently kept him out for two months.

"Ansu is very affected," said Xavi.

On Monday, a meeting will take place to decide on the next course of action, with Barca reportedly keen for Fati to go down the route of surgery.

"It is a relapse," Xavi said. "Pruna told me that he was to play for half an hour and extra time disrupted our plans. We are going to make a specific plan for him. On Monday we will have a meeting to decide what to do. 

"I'm not a doctor, but we have to mentally allow him to recover. [We need to] let him forget about the injuries and make a specific plan. We have lost an impressive footballer and it affects us all, but he is the main victim. We must do an exhaustive follow-up so that he does not injure himself more.

"It's a shame. We are sad because we have tried to take good care of him and he has been injured again. This is part of football. We are suffering major setbacks and this is very serious."

Fati previously spent 10 months on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury, resuming his Barcelona career in September this season.

Despite his limited action, Fati is Barcelona's second-highest scorer in 2021-22 with five goals. They have come in just 456 minutes of on-pitch action, with Fati out-performing his expected goals (xG) score of 1.92.

On Sunday, Barca travel to face Deportivo Alaves in LaLiga, with Fati definitively ruled out and Dembele also expected to be sidelined by the club.

Alaves have not won any of their last 10 LaLiga games against Barcelona (D2 L8), conceding 3.1 goals on average in these matches.

Barcelona have avoided defeat in their last seven away LaLiga games against Alaves (W4 D3), keeping a clean sheet in six of them. This is their longest unbeaten run at Mendizorrotza in the top flight, but this season's Barcelona are a different proposition, with the loss of Lionel Messi and to a lesser extent Antoine Griezmann meaning they lack presence on the road.

Indeed, Barcelona have won only two of their last 10 away games in LaLiga (D6 L2), beating Villarreal in November and Mallorca earlier this month. That follows a run of 12 wins from their previous 14 away games in the competition (D1 L1).

The likes of Sergio Busquets have come in for flak from supporters of the club, and Xavi says the veteran members of the team must justify their selection.

"The shots go towards the sacred cows, and they have to understand it," Xavi said. "The commitment of the veterans is spectacular, unquestionable, but now it depends on the performance. Until recently we didn't have many alternatives."

The former Al Sadd coach said he remains "optimistic" about Barcelona's prospects, and said there could be additions to his squad before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

"We are working on it, in several areas," he said.

Barcelona are set to lose Ansu Fati for another long stretch of games after details of his latest injury setback were revealed.

The 19-year-old Spain international has had a dismal run of luck with injuries and appeared to be in tears as he was substituted in the Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Thursday.

Fati had come off the bench just after the hour mark but had to be replaced early in extra time, with Barcelona stating after the game he had sustained "a femoral biceps injury in his left thigh".

The wording of that diagnosis was adjusted on Friday evening, and it remains to be seen whether Fati plays again this season.

Barcelona said in a statement: "Tests carried out on the first-team player Ansu Fati on Friday confirmed that he has a proximal tendon injury in the hamstring of his left leg. In the coming days the treatment to be carried out will be decided."

On Instagram, the club added: "You’ll be back stronger, warrior."

Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported the club has recommended that Fati undergoes surgery.

The teenager has featured in just 10 games across all competitions this season, and he had only recently returned from a two-month hamstring injury lay-off.

Fati previously spent 10 months on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury, resuming his Barcelona career in September this season.

Despite his limited action, Fati is Barcelona's second-highest scorer in 2021-22 with five goals. They have come in just 456 minutes of on-pitch action, with Fati out-performing his expected goals (xG) score of 1.92.

Xavi admitted his Barcelona team failed to match the intensity of Athletic Bilbao as they tumbled out of the Copa del Rey at the last-16 stage, another blow in a dismal season.

Barcelona may yet claw their way into the Champions League places in LaLiga, but their trophy pursuit looks doomed to failure. Beaten by Real Madrid last week in the Supercopa semi-finals, a 3-2 defeat after extra time against Athletic on Thursday was another bitter pill for head coach Xavi and his players.

Add in the blow of losing substitute Ansu Fati to what Barcelona described as "a femoral biceps injury in his left thigh", and it was a calamitous night at San Mames for the visitors.

Barca are out of the LaLiga title reckoning, and Europa League play-off opponents Napoli will surely fancy their chances of taking the Blaugrana's scalp on this latest evidence.

The defeat in Bilbao, where home captain Iker Muniain capped an inspiring performance with two goals, means Barcelona have failed to reach at least the quarter-final stage of the Copa del Rey for the first time since 2009-10.

This is also the first season since 2003-04, when they were in the UEFA Cup, that Barcelona have not featured in the Champions League knockout rounds. A group-stage exit saw to that.

Barcelona got what they deserved in Bilbao. The expected goals (xG) calculation, based on each team's chances, showed the gulf between these sides was wider than the final scoreline.

Athletic had an xG of 3.33, while Barcelona's was a miniscule 0.36. The home side had 19 shots to just seven by Xavi's team, and the 66.7 per cent of possession that Barcelona enjoyed was mostly lacking in end product.

Success has flooded into the Catalan giants in recent years, and Barcelona beat Athletic 4-0 in the Copa final only last April. Lionel Messi scored twice in that game, and Antoine Griezmann also netted. Both have now long since departed.

"In summary, I think Athletic's intensity surpassed ours," said Xavi. "In duels, in second balls. They lived each ball as if it were their last."

Athletic led through Muniain and Inigo Martinez, but Ferran Torres, with his first Barcelona goal, and Pedri, deep into stoppage time, replied for Barcelona.

A handball by Jordi Alba was punished by Muniain from the penalty spot near the end of the first half of extra time, and this time Athletic did not relinquish their lead.

"With Pedri's goal it seemed like it was our moment," Xavi said, speaking at a post-match news conference.

Muniain's penalty told the coach different, however.

"It seems that when things are heads or tails, we always get tails. We have to change the dynamic," Xavi added.

 

He was not minded to contest the penalty decision after the final whistle. Alba was struck on the arm by Nico Williams' cross, and with VAR guidance it was an obvious spot-kick.

Former Al Sadd boss Xavi, who took over the Barcelona top job in November, said his team would "fight" for their remaining objectives.

It remains to be seen when Fati is seen again in action. He looked distressed, tearful, on leaving the pitch barely half an hour after entering the action. That setback compounded the misery of a regrettable evening.

Speaking to Barca TV, Xavi said: "We need to continue believing in this project, continue in LaLiga and continue in the Europa League. This is the way, continue to keep going and working hard."

Federico Valverde scored in extra time as Real Madrid advanced to the Supercopa de Espana final with a 3-2 victory over Barcelona. 

Vinicius Junior gave Madrid a deserved lead shortly after the midway point of the first half in Riyadh, yet Luuk de Jong ensured the sides went in at the break level with a fortuitous equaliser. 

Karim Benzema restored Los Blancos' advantage in the 72nd minute, only for Ansu Fati to draw Xavi's men level once again with seven minutes left of normal time. 

Valverde clipped home eight minutes into extra time, however, to set up a final clash on Sunday against either Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao, who do battle in the second semi-final on Thursday. 

Madrid's bright start was rewarded in the 25th minute when Vinicius raced beyond Ronald Araujo and fired past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen after Benzema had dispossessed Sergio Busquets on the halfway line.

Barca pulled level four minutes before the interval, Eder Militao's attempted clearance inside the six-yard area smashing against De Jong and spinning in off the inside of Thibaut Courtois' right-hand post.

Moments after crashing an effort against the upright, Benzema slotted home from close range after Vinicius' cross had been diverted into his path by Ter Stegen. 

Substitute Fati, who was making his first appearance since November 6, sent the game to extra time, though, heading Jordi Alba's cross past Courtois from six yards.

Carlo Ancelotti's men sealed their spot in the final in the first half of extra time when Valverde slid home after a counter-attacking move that saw Barca desperately outnumbered. 

Eric Garcia will miss around five weeks of action after suffering a hamstring injury in Barcelona's 1-1 draw at Granada.

The 21-year-old centre-back was replaced by Clement Lenglet after 54 minutes on Saturday, and tests carried out by Barca on Sunday confirmed the severity of the problem.

Garcia, who signed for Barca on a free transfer after his Manchester City contract expired at the end of 2020-21, has played 20 games so far this season, keeping four clean sheets.

Xavi's team have a number of players back following injury or positive COVID-19 tests, including Memphis Depay and Sergino Dest, but will now be without Garcia until around the middle of February, while Gavi will also spend some time out after being sent off against Granada.

Barca host Real Madrid in the semi-final of the Supercopa de Espana on Wednesday, with Xavi having confirmed forward Ansu Fati will return from a hamstring injury which has kept him out since November.

The Spain international, who inherited the number 10 shirt worn by Lionel Messi, scored three times across five LaLiga appearances earlier this season following a 10-month absence with a serious knee injury.

Ansu Fati is set to make his return to action with Barcelona in the upcoming Supercopa de Espana semi-final against Real Madrid.

The 19-year-old forward has had a particularly difficult time of it in the past 14 months, managing just five league appearances due to injury.

Fati missed the majority of the 2020-21 season after tearing the internal meniscus of his left knee in November 2020, an injury that ultimately kept him out until September 2021.

But his return then was brief – he featured five times in LaLiga, scoring three goals, before then hurting his hamstring almost exactly a year to the day after suffering that initial knee injury.

Even during his short-lived return, Fati highlighted his importance to Barca – he averaged a goal every 71 minutes, the best record at the club this season (min. 200 minutes played) and was ruthlessly clinical, those three strikes coming from just 0.85 expected goals (xG).

Fati's xG overperformance of 2.15 is comfortably the best in the Barca team this season. Their current top scorer, Memphis Depay, has underperformance in relation to non-penalty xG (6.0 xG, five goals).

But despite the evidence showing just how much of an asset Fati can be, Xavi will resist the urge to play him against Granada on Saturday, instead holding him back for a few extra days in order to feature in Wednesday's Clasico in Riyadh.

"If it were the other way around, playing Madrid tomorrow and the Supercopa against Granada, I would do exactly the same," Xavi told reporters.

"Ansu is fine, [but] I had some doubts that he would be able to play tomorrow's game. For now I prefer to wait because the last experience he had was a relapse.

 

"We love Ansu 100 per cent, and knowing that he is about to return is spectacular news for us. He has worked very well, with a very strong ambition, capable of making a difference.

"He is a fundamental player, but we do not want to take risks because we would lose him for the rest of the season. I prefer to wait until he is at full capacity – it's a question of physical condition."

Xavi was speaking a few hours after Philippe Coutinho's loan exit to Aston Villa was confirmed, a move that will go down well with many Barca supporters who had become increasingly frustrated by the Brazilian.

But while Coutinho may never have been the most popular player among fans, Xavi commended his attitude.

"It says a lot about him that he wanted to leave to have minutes," Xavi said. "His salary has been lowered. He is a great professional, who wants to succeed.

"Here he was struggling and he has looked for a solution. All the players are being very professional. I am delighted with those who play, but also with those who do not. They are exemplary."

Barca had been eager to move Coutinho on in part due to his massive salary, with the club needing to get players off the wage bill in order to register new additions.

Ferran Torres still cannot be registered following his move from Manchester City, though Xavi assured fans the club is doing everything it can to ensure the Spain international can play once he returns from his coronavirus-enforced absence.

"Today [Torres] has tested positive again. Regardless of whether we can register him or not, in principle he will not play [against Granada]," he continued.

"[Barca director] Mateu Alemany is working 24 hours a day so that Ferran can play when he tests negative for coronavirus. I am optimistic, I trust in the club management."

Barcelona forward Ansu Fati is at least on a par with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas. 

Fati has enjoyed an impressive rise from Barca academy product to first-team star over the past two years, despite having to contend with a number of injury setbacks. 

Among a host of other records set since his debut in August 2019, Fati can lay claim to being Barca's youngest goalscorer and the youngest scorer in Champions League history.  

Mbappe is also no stranger to breaking records, not least becoming the youngest player in history to reach the 100-goal mark in Ligue 1 at 22 years and 91 days old in March.  

The World Cup winner is further along in his development than Fati, having made his senior breakthrough with Monaco in December 2015 before joining PSG two years later. 

While Mbappe is widely heralded as one of the most coveted players in world football, Tebas argues he is no better than Barca youngster Fati. 

"We always like to give a lot of value to what we have outside of Spain," Tebas told El Partidazo de Cope.  

"We have Ansu Fati, who unfortunately has had injuries, but over time he has shown that he is equal to or better than Mbappe." 

Fati, who inherited Lionel Messi's number 10 shirt at Camp Nou in September and recently signed a new long-term deal, has scored 17 goals in 51 appearances for Barca in all competitions. 

Over the same period, Mbappe has found the net 77 times in 97 games for PSG, netting at a rate of one goal every 98 minutes. Fati gets one every 138 minutes. 

Mbappe has also outperformed Fati in terms of assists, setting up his PSG team-mates 33 times compared to three for the Spain international. 

When comparing the players over the same point in their career, Mbappe also has the edge. 

Across his first 51 appearances for Monaco, which like Fati was made up of 27 starts and the rest from the substitutes' bench, Mbappe scored 24 times at a rate of one every 108 minutes and assisted 10 more. 

That includes a big-chance conversion return of 71 per cent at that stage in his career – which has since dropped to 48 – compared to 29 for Fati. 

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