The 18-year-old was rested for the first half against Dynamo Kiev with Ronald Koeman holding back his most important player for Sunday’s Clasico.
The second biggest cheer of the first half – after the one that greeted Gerard Pique’s goal – was for the sight of the teenager warming-up.
Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati has committed his future to the club by signing a new six-year deal
He came on at half time in Barcelona’s narrow win replacing Luuk de Jong and after the lacklustre win the club could at least allay supporters’ fears that Fati could be poached by a big European rival by announcing his new deal.
The record-breaking young striker had a contract until the end of this season with some controversy over whether it included an automatic renewal until 2024 or not.
The uncertainty over the existing contract no longer matters with the player’s agent Jorge Mendes having agreed the new bumper deal with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.
The forward has become a key player under Ronald Koeman after gaining the No 10 shirt
Suggestions that the huge release clause was proving a sticking point also seem to have been wide of the mark. Fati becomes Barca’s second billion euro kid with Pedri also on that huge release clause.
Fati has hit the ground running since finally coming back from a long injury lay-off. He missed most of last season, needing several operations on his left knee.
The club have been impressed with his comeback and by his attitude this summer. Lionel Messi’s number 10 shirt was up for grabs and it was offered to several players more senior than Fati.
Fati has scored twice in the league and was linked with a number of teams next summer
They turned it down and when it was offered to him not only did he have the confidence to accept it he also had the grace to say he would only wear it if the Barcelona captains Pique, Sergio Busquets, Sergio Roberto and Marc Andre ter Stegen gave the all-clear.
Sergio Aguero – one of those who could have taken the shirt this summer – spoke in glowing terms about Fati in the lead-up to the game against Kiev.
He said: ‘The 10 fits Ansu nicely. He’s playing well and he has a very special talent. He is young and they have to let him grow.
‘We have to support him and make sure that he is comfortable on the pitch. He is one of those players that does not come around very often.’