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Fati arrives on international stage as Spain take control

Ansu Fati announced his arrival in international football on Sunday after becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Spanish national team in a 4-0 thumping of Ukraine that put them top their UEFA Nations League group.

Barcelona forward Fati put Spain three goals ahead after just 31 minutes of the League A, Group 4 clash at the empty Alfredo di Stefano Stadium in Madrid with a fine individual strike that came amid a scintillating debut start for his adopted country.

Aged 17 years and 311 days, Fati, who was born in Guinea-Bissau and obtained Spanish nationality a year ago after moving to Spain when he was seven, beat the previous record held by Juan Errazquin, who scored three goals aged 18 against Switzerland in 1925.

“As soon as I was showered and changed I called my family – they are the people who have helped me reach this day and who always help me overcome challenges,” Fati said after the match.

“I’ll ask all the guys to sign this Spain shirt and it’ll go up on the wall in a special place in my house.”

Having already won the penalty that captain Sergio Ramos converted just two minutes after kick-off, he could have scored just minutes before finding the net when his close-range bicycle kick was unwittingly cleared just as it looked to be heading in.

Fati’s strike — a super curling shot after fine footwork on the edge of area — came just three minutes after Ramos had put Spain two up with a beautiful looping header from Dani Olmo’s cross. Substitute Ferran Torres completed the rout five minutes from the end.

The easy win leaves Spain top of Group 4 on four points, one ahead of Sunday’s opponents but more importantly two in front of Germany who were held to a second consecutive 1-1 draw, this time with Switzerland.

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