Spain celebrates 'different and special' Fati as team salvages point





Jose Gaya got the last-gasp equalizer and David de Gea was outstanding in goal but it was 17-year-old Ansu Fati who took the focus of Spanish media as they looked back at the Nations League opener with Germany.



By Peter Jenson,  Spain’s media hailed its new generation of players on Friday after they helped salvage a late draw against Germany on Thursday.
“Licence to dream” was Diario AS’s headline after Jose Gaya scored on 95 minutes in a game in which the stars were Spain’s youngest players.
Ansu Fati came on in the second half and was close to scoring his first goal only for a header to be ruled out for an infringement.
The Barcelona forward became the second youngest player to debut for Spain and Marca called him "leader of the revolution."
Spain coach Luis Enrique was full of praise for Fati and for fellow debutant, Manchester City's Ferran Torres.
He said: “Ferran played at a very high level and Ansu has shown what we already knew about him. He is special and different.”
He also picked out two more second half debutants, Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino and Sevilla forward Oscar Rodriguez.
“Merino is getting better and better and becoming one of the best midfielders in La Liga. And I really like Oscar he brings things together.”
Captain Sergio Ramos committed a foul in the area that meant Fati’s potential injury-time equalizer was ruled out.
Ramos said: “The debutants are not just players for the future, they are for the here and now.
“People with heart and hunger are always welcome.”
The other big plus on a night when youngsters stole the show was the performance of eternally questioned David de Gea.
The Manchester United goalkeeper’s place in the Spain team is under the spotlight after a series of mistakes but he was faultless against Germany.
Luis Enrique said: “When De Gea makes a mistake we get on top of him so when he plays a good game like this one we have to applaud him.
“It would be good if the front page headline of one of the papers was: 'What a goalkeeper we have!'.”
Marca did not take Luis Enrique’s advice. They went with “Faith is worth a point” again in reference to Spain’s late leveller.
The headline on their match report was “Gaya plays the part of Puyol” as a reference to the goal scored by Carles Puyol in the 2010 World Cup semi-final against Germany.
“It was a draw that felt like a win,” said Marca as Spain celebrated their resilience against Germany.
Fati’s performance even gave the Catalan media something to celebrate and a reason to cover a topic that did not involve Lionel Messi’s possible departure.
“Ansu celebrates his progress,” said Sport while “Debut and a miracle” was El Mundo Deportivo's take of the young Barcelona striker’s first game and Gaya’s last gasp equalizer.
Spain will play Ukraine on Sunday at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.
Luis Enrique will be able to select Wolves winger Adama Traore. The former Barcelona forward was unable to join Spain in Germany because of an “inconclusive” coronavirus test result.
But he has since tested negative and can join his team-mates for the second game of their Nations League campaign.

 


Friday, September 4th 2020
By Peter Jenson,
           


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