Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, has hailed his young teammate, Ansu Fati after winning this year’s FIFA Men’s Best Player of the year award ahead of Liverpool defender, Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday.
DAILY POST reports that Messi won the prize on Monday night at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy ahead of Van Dijk and Ronaldo.
The Argentine captain took the top honour with 46 per cent of scoring points, with Van Dijk receiving 38 per cent and Ronaldo 36 per cent.
Messi said Fati got his attention from the first time he saw the 16-year-old in Barca’s first-team training, adding that the Guinean forward has the potential to be a very important player in the world.
Speaking after receiving The Best FIFA Men’s Player award on Monday night, Messi told reporters: “Ansu Fati got my attention from the first time I saw him training, but you have to go step-by-step because he is 16 years old.
“He still doesn’t have the responsibility that others want to put on his shoulders.
“He has the potential to be a very important player but we have to help him.”
Fati, who was included in Barcelona’s 18-man squad to face Villarreal at the Camp Nou Stadium on Tuesday night in the La Liga, has been quite impressive for Ernesto Valverde’s men this season.