Barcelona under-19 head coach Victor Valdes said he bought new boots for Ansu Fati as the teenager continues to impress at Camp Nou.
Fati became Barca’s second youngest player to feature in LaLiga during their 5-2 win over Real Betis on Sunday.
The 16-year-old moved behind Vicente Martinez, who was 18 days younger when he played against Real Madrid in October 1941, after coming off the bench.
Former Barca goalkeeper Valdes – back at Camp Nou as a coach – spoke about the highly rated youngster.
“I told him to bring me his boots and they were a complete disaster, they were causing him pain,” Valdes said at a news conference on Monday.
“Nobody had thought it could be the boots, but I did. We went to buy some new ones.”
Born in Guinea-Bissau, Ansu arrived at Barca in 2013 at the age of 10 and has impressed at every level since then, recently signing a deal that will keep him at the club until June 2022.
Playing for the club’s Juvenil A under-18 side, Ansu was not expected to feature for the first team for some time. However, injuries to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele saw him drafted into Ernesto Valverde’s side for the home clash with Betis.
“He’s strong, quick and self-confident,” Valdes added. “You have to give this kind of talent freedom so that he flows.
“I’m so happy for him, he called me this morning and it made me very excited.
“I’m thankful to [Ernesto] Valverde for giving him some minutes. His performance didn’t surprise me.”