Ronald Koeman will most likely have to do without Ansu Fati for a long time at FC Barcelona. The top talent fell against Real Betis (5-2) on Saturday with a knee injury, which turns out to be more serious than hoped.
‘Messi was not fit enough to start’
Barcelona reports in a statement that eighteen-year-old Fati has a torn meniscus, which normally requires months of recovery. In the coming days it will be decided what the rehabilitation process looks like.
Fati sustained his injury when he was knocked down in the penalty area after half an hour, which resulted in a penalty kick to Barcelona. The penalty was missed by Antoine Griezmann. Fati played on until half time, but was then substituted.
“He had problems with his knee during half time,” said Koeman shortly after the game, when the seriousness of the injury was not yet clear. “We didn’t want to take any chances and switched him.”
The young Fati just had his breakthrough at Barcelona. With five goals and four assists in the first ten matches of the season, the attacker was important to Koeman’s team.
Ansu Fati was replaced by Lionel Messi, who scored twice. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Fati was replaced at half time by Lionel Messi, who surprisingly sat on the bench at Barcelona. However, Koeman emphasized that nothing should be sought behind this.
“He was not fit enough to start”, explained the former national coach of Orange. “He had some aches and pains against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday. A player like Messi is always in the starting line-up when he is fit.”
Messi, who was criticized after the match against Kiev for barely defending, scored twice against Betis, one of which from a penalty kick. He scored his first field goal of the season.
The victory over Real Betis meant the first victory for Koeman and Barcelona after losing points in La Liga four times in a row. The top club is still in the middle bracket for the time being.
View the results, the stand and the program in La Liga