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SPAIN UNDER-17S

Ansu Fati: Barcelona starlet to get Spanish passport this week

The Barcelona starlet's naturalisation process has been fast-tracked to ensure he can play for Spain at the forthcoming Under-17 World Cup.

Ansu Fati: Barcelona starlet to get Spanish passport this week
JOHN MACDOUGALL AFP

Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati is expected to be granted a Spanish passport on Friday, allowing the 16-year-old to play for Spain at next month's Under-17 World Cup.

Naturalisation fast-tracked for U-17 World Cup

The process has been fast-tracked as Spain Under-17s head coach David Gordo must submit his 50-man preliminary list for the tournament in Brazil by Wednesday next week, and FIFA rules do not allow players whose application for naturalisation is still pending to be included in this initial group.

The Bassau-Guinean forward, who scored one and set up another as Barça beat Valencia 5-2 on his home Blaugrana debut at the weekend, is also eligible to play for Portugal, but Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) sources have told AS that he "is in no doubt whatsoever" that he wishes to pledge his allegiance to Spain.

RFEF tracking Fati since last season

Federation officials have been tracking Fati since last season. After he attracted rave reviews from the RFEF's head of youth football, Francis Hernández, the process of naturalising the teenager was set in motion three months ago, with Spain's senior coach, Robert Moreno, also keen for him to be added to La Roja's age-group structure.