When Melamed surpassed Ansu Fati

Two regular rivals in the grassroots football of Espanyol and Barça, young promises now in their first teams. In the 16-17 Melamed thrashed more than Fati.

When-Melamed-surpassed-Ansu-Fati

When David Gallego made his debut for Nico Melamed against Swiss Lucerna in August 2019, he already knew that this was going to be the beginning of a great story between the young talent and Espanyol. Everyone in Sant Adrià had noticed the qualities of the small player, who even in the 2016-17 season was the sensation in the Cadet Division of Honor over Ansu Fati, who was one year younger and was already playing for all purposes in Cadet A azulgrana.

In that season Melamed surpassed the numbers of the current Barcelona player. The footballer participated in the 30 games of the championship and scored 28 goals, becoming the top scorer. Apart from being a combinatorial footballer, capable of acting in all attacking positions, that course demonstrated more than others his ease in seeing the goal, something in which he is already standing out in LaLiga SmartBank: he adds three goals and two assists in 482 minutes Therefore, in each game, the average participates in an action that ends in a goal for Espanyol.

"It was always the 10. Childhood memory A game in which they put him as a false nine, but he always played inside in a 4-3-3 or as a midfielder in the 4-2-3-1", he commented Robert Cuesta, head of recruitment and technician of the quarry perica at that time. "You could see his qualities. He was a chosen one with a special character and the family helped him to always be very focused. They were clear that Espanyol was a good place to be comfortable," he valued.

Ansu Fati, one year younger than Melamed, played 25 games that season with Barcelona's Cadet A and managed to score 21 goals, very worthy considering that it was his first year in the category and that he suffered an injury. From there, both trajectories went hand in hand. In the 2017-18 campaign, they met again in the National Youth League. Melamed played 15 games with his team and nine with the Division de Honor team: he scored only three goals in perhaps his most difficult campaign. Fati alternated Cadet A with Youth B. Between them, he scored 14 goals in 24 games.

"In juniors we accelerate the process. There are players who ask for it with their performance and qualities, but it is not valid for everyone. In the first year we already raised him to Juvenil A and in the second year he made his debut with the subsidiary," explains Cuesta. In his last year in formative football, his second year as a junior, they met again in the Division of Honor. Melamed played 26 games and scored 15 goals, for 18 goals in 21 games for the winger. Two similar trajectories of two talents who aim to be the icons of Barcelona and Espanyol. "Nico wanted to succeed at Espanyol," concludes Cuesta.



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