ANSU FATI is the next Lionel Messi at Barcelona with a €1BILLION release clause.
But he is getting a non-league Biggleswade United jacket for Christmas after his brother Braima, 23, signed for the little-known club in England’s ninth tier.
Barcelona star Ansu Fati’s brother is playing in England’s ninth tier for BiggleswadeCredit: Getty
Biggleswade star Braima Fati is full of praise for his younger brother Ansu, who stands out at BarcelonaCredit: Supplied
Ansu is now Biggleswade’s biggest fan. He video calls Braima in the changing room following games and could even appear in the crowd this season.
Despite a four-year age gap, Braima let his younger sibling tag along to play football as kids.
Braima told SunSport: “As a kid, Ansu would be six years old playing with me and my friends who were 11.
“He was playing against kids five years older.
“You learn a lot when you play with older people.
“When you’re growing up the last thing on your mind is money, but you don’t imagine getting to the first team at Barcelona.
“Now he’s my favourite player and my best friend.”
But Braima does not take any credit for the 19-year-old’s soaring success.
He added: “I couldn’t be prouder. He’s my biggest fan and I’m his. I’ve been up close to see how hard he’s worked.
“I know how tough it is. I wasn’t able to get there because only one in a million can. It’s like something out of the movies.”
Braima recently rescinded his contract with the Barcelona Academy La Masia to join the Bedfordshire side, whose chairman is football journalist and broadcaster Guillem Balague.
Biggleswade star Braima Fati is loving life in England and is getting used to life in his new clubCredit: Supplied
The Spaniard, who was born in Guinea-Bissau, admitted: “The first few days in England weren’t easy.
“I don’t like the cold, but I’m getting used to it. Ansu is sending me a Barcelona jacket over and I’ll send a Biggleswade one in return!
“It will be very emotional when Ansu comes to watch Biggleswade.
“He hasn’t been able to watch me play since 2019 because he’s been playing.
“When he has some free time he is going to come over here. He’s never been to London. Now he’s a Biggleswade United supporter.”
Braima is keen to throw himself into British culture, adding: “My chairman says I can’t live on fish and chips, but I’m a terrible cook.
Braima and Ansu Fati grew up together and played football at a very young ageCredit: Supplied
“I tried a football pie when I went to see a Manchester City game. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. It’s fish and chips for me, all the way.”
His main priority is to learn English after making the sacrifice to live apart from his girlfriend and one-year-old daughter. Alongside a 45-minute commute to Cambridge for lessons, Braima is picking up the language from his new team-mates.
He said: “I told Ansu I want to do this, to live in England.
“My brother said, ‘If that’s what you want, you have to go for it’.”
Balague joined the club in 2014 and has been pivotal in attracting top names, like former Espanyol and Chelsea midfielder Enrique de Lucas and ex-Rangers striker Nacho Novo.
The likes of the late Diego Maradona, Messi, Rafa Benitez and Mauricio Pochettino have also helped with signed shirts and memorabilia. The club is run by volunteers and promotes female football, youth football as well as diversity and inclusion.
Braima and Ansu Fati are in constant contact and support each other’s careersCredit: Supplied
Balague added: “It’s a massive thing for a ninth division club to have somebody like Braima.
“We wanted him to land and get to know people so we didn’t even tell people at the club.
“But people started to look at the line-up and ask questions. Now after he scored, everyone has found out.”
Braima Fati was talking from the Keech Hospice Ground, home of Biggleswade United. The club’s mission is to provide an inclusive environment and offer a pathway to English and European football to local boys and others. To follow the club and Braima go to @biggleswadeutd on Twitter.
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