MADRID • Spain coach Luis Enrique was taken in by the quality he saw in teenage forward Ansu Fati, who became his country’s youngest goalscorer by netting in a 4-0 win against Ukraine in the Uefa Nations League on Sunday.
Fati, who turns 18 on Oct 31, turned in a sensational all-round display in his first start for Spain and struck his first goal for his country to make it 3-0 in the 32nd minute with an effort from outside the area.
“It’s not normal for him to have this spark and self-confidence at this age. But we’ll try to manage that so he can help the team as much as possible,” Enrique said.
Sergio Ramos had given Spain an early lead by converting a penalty earned by Fati and the defender struck again with a header, while substitute Ferran Torres rounded off an outstanding team display.
The result left the Spaniards top of League A Group 4 with four points from two matches.
Fati’s goal saw him break the late Juan Errazquin’s record as Spain’s youngest goalscorer that had stood for 95 years. Errazquin scored his first goal against Switzerland in 1925 at 18 years and 344 days.
Fati did not waste his time in making his mark on the game, winning a penalty after bursting into the box from the left wing after effortlessly nutmegging an opponent.
“He showed such bravery and daring to do what he did in the second minute, beating a player so naturally,” added Enrique.
Fati, who was born in Guinea-Bissau but moved to Seville in Spain at age six, became Spain’s youngest player in 84 years when he made his debut in last Thursday’s 1-1 draw away to Germany.
He became Barcelona’s youngest goalscorer in La Liga last year with a goal against Osasuna and also became the youngest scorer in the history of the Champions League by netting against Inter Milan in December.
While Spain clinched an easy win, Ilkay Gundogan could not hide his annoyance when Germany remained third in the same group after Switzerland fought back to earn a 1-1 draw on Sunday in Basel.
The midfielder gave Germany the lead on 14 minutes only for Swiss right-back Silvan Widmer to equalise just before the hour mark.
“This is getting on my nerves,” he admitted.
“We were in a good position, but once more, we didn’t win. It’s very annoying.”
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE