Spain Under-17 boss David Gordo has expressed his regret that Barcelona forward Ansu Fati cannot be brought to the upcoming World Cup.
It had been thought that the Barcelona teenage sensation would be selected for the tournament, meaning he would miss up to five weeks of action for the Blaugrana first-team.
However, despite obtaining Spanish nationality earlier this month – the 16-year-old was instead called up to the Under-21 squad and he debuted against Montenegro earlier this month.
Fati – born in Guinea Bissau and who also qualifies to represent Portugal – scored and assisted on his first start for the Blaugrana in their 5-2 win over Valencia last month and his level of performance has generated a great level of excitement.
“A Coach wants to have the best and of course we would have liked to have Ansu Fati, but the circumstances are as they are and I am super happy with the 21 players that have come,” Gordo explained in an interview with Marca.
“There are injured boys who have not been able to come and others who are not going through their best moment, but I am happy with those who come to defend the shirt. They will do everything possible to make us have a good tournament.”
Spain have been drawn in the ‘group of death’ for the tournament as they face South American champions Argentina, Cameroon – champions of Africa – and Tajikstan, who finished second in Asia.