It’s always intriguing when a player has to pick between countries and declare for a national team. There are so many things to consider, should you pick the country where you were born or do you feel more at home somewhere else and want to play for them? There’s even the occasional extreme decision of ” Well I won’t get to play for England so I might as well play for Scotland”.
The case with Barcelona’s latest young star Ansu Fati is a curious one. It seems like he was wanted by Portugal and Spain but he didn’t actually have a passport in either country yet. There’s an under 17 World Cup soon and both nations wanted to see Fati in their squad.
According to Sport, it sounds like the Spanish authorities have been able to pull a few stings and the player should have his Spanish passport in time to play for Spain at the tournament. They suggest the Spanish authorities have had to work hard to accelerate the process.
Curiously it remains to be seen if playing at the tournament will enhance or hamper his chances of establishing himself as a key member of the Barcelona first team squad. Depending on how Spain do, he could miss up to seven games for Barca, so it gives a chance for someone else to take his spot.
Despite that, if he performs well and Spain go deep into the tournament, surely that can only enhance his chances of playing more for Barca?
Although he looks set to declare for Spain at this point, he won’t be officially locked in to either nation until he plays in a competitive senior game for that country. Expect Portugal to keep pushing for him to change his allegiance until that happens.