Valdes bought new boots for Barca teenager Fati

By Sports Desk August 26, 2019

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."

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    The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Friday that it had postponed the match at Camp Nou due to safety concerns amid the ongoing political tensions and protests in Catalonia.

    Violent scenes broke out in Barcelona after nine Catalan political leaders received long prison sentences for their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.

    A rally in the city has been called by pro-independence politicians for October 26, the day Barca were due to host Madrid, prompting the RFEF to intervene.

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    In a statement released later on Friday, Madrid said: "In light of the Competition Committee ruling which postpones the match scheduled to be played on Saturday October 26 between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and states the clubs must agree a new date for the fixture, Real Madrid wishes to communicate that the date proposed by both said clubs is December 18."

    Speaking earlier, head coach Zinedine Zidane said he was prepared to adapt to any plans to reschedule the fixture.

    "If we have to play on the 26th, we will, and if we have to change, the important thing is to be prepared," he told a news conference.

    "I know there is a lot of debate because it's logical, but my position as coach is this: to be ready on the date that the appropriate person tells us. We'll adapt.

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    Barca and Madrid are also playing their final Champions League group games, away to Inter and Club Brugge respectively, within four days after December 7.

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    "The club's desire was to play the Clasico at Camp Nou on the 26th, the date and time previously agreed and the Committee was informed of this in writing," they said in a statement on Friday.

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    "If we have to play on the 26th, we will, and if we have to change, the important thing is to be prepared.

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