Ansu Fati is a teenager with a child's face living with adults at the top level. In just a few months he's gone from anonymity to young star. From young promise to someone bridles with comparisons.
On Thursday, he turned 17 after a minor reality check: a more quiet performance in Barcelona's win against Real Valladolid after several weeks without playing. While he started against Valladolid, his peers were with Spain at the U17 World Cup.
As a 16-year-old, he went from the U19 team to the youngest ever scorer of a league goal for Barcelona. He's played for Spain U21s and has been tipped with a senior call up, too.
"It's incredible," Ansu admits. "It's going to be an unforgettable year."
Lionel Messi has said he was impressed with him from his first training session with the first team but called for him to enter the first team dynamic gradually, as the Argentine did in his day.
Ansu has won the senior players around already, though, and it's now about adapting to the elite, as Clement Lenglet said recently: "He has a lot of talent. He's sharing a dressing room with internationals in his position. He played really well, but he has some problems continuing with the rhythm of training and games."
That change of rhythm led to a knee problem and left him out for a few games, but he was back against Valladolid.
Now, on the day he turns 17, Barça have to decide what path he will follow. Along with Carles Perez, there's the chance they will drop down for some games with the B team at some point.
"I am convinced that Ansu and Perez will be with us sooner or later," B team coach Garcia Pimienta's said. "No one has told me they won't drop down."
Ernesto Valverde, for now, insists they will continue with the first team for the time being. One of the coach's big challenges is managing Ansu between now and the summer. There's plenty of debate about what's best for his development.
The good news is he has time. On Thursday, he turned 17. Happy Birthday, Ansu. Feliz Cumple.