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ANSU FATI is the next Lionel Messi at Barcelona with a €1BILLION release clause.

But he is getting a non-league Biggleswade United jacket for Christmas after his brother Braima, 23, signed for the little-known club in England’s ninth tier.

5Barcelona star Ansu Fati's brother is playing in England's ninth tier for BiggleswadeCredit: Getty 5Biggleswade star Braima Fati is full of praise for his younger brother Ansu, who stands out at BarcelonaCredit: Supplied

Ansu is now Biggleswade’s biggest fan.

He video calls Braima in the changing room following games  and could even appear in the crowd this season.

Despite a four-year age gap, Braima let his younger sibling tag along to play football as kids.

Fast forward a decade and Ansu was given Messi’s iconic No10 shirt after signing a contract extension until 2027 with the Catalans.

Braima told SunSport: “As a kid, Ansu would be six years old playing with me and my friends who were 11.

“He was playing against kids five years older.

“You learn a lot when you play with older people.

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“When you’re growing up the last thing on your mind is money, but you don’t imagine getting to the first team at Barcelona.

“Now he’s my favourite player and my best friend.”

But Braima does not take  any credit for the 19-year-old’s  soaring success.

He added:  “I couldn’t be prouder. He’s my biggest fan and I’m his. I’ve been up close to see how hard he’s worked.

“I know how tough it is. I wasn’t able to get there because only one in a million can. It’s like something out of the movies.”

Braima recently rescinded his contract with the Barcelona Academy La Masia to join the Bedfordshire side, whose chairman is football journalist and broadcaster Guillem Balague.

5Biggleswade star Braima Fati is loving life in England and is getting used to life in his new clubCredit: Supplied

The Spaniard, who was born in Guinea-Bissau, admitted: “The first few days in England weren’t easy.

“I don’t like the cold, but I’m  getting used to it. Ansu is sending me a Barcelona jacket over and I’ll send a Biggleswade one in return!

“It will be very emotional when Ansu comes to watch Biggleswade.

“He hasn’t been able to watch me play since 2019 because he’s been playing.

“When he has some free time he is going to come over here. He’s never been to London. Now he’s a Biggleswade United supporter.”

Braima is keen to throw himself into British culture, adding: “My chairman says I can’t live on fish and chips, but I’m a terrible cook.

5Braima and Ansu Fati grew up together and played football at a very young ageCredit: Supplied

“I tried a football pie when I went to see a Manchester City game. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. It’s fish and chips for me, all the way.”

His main priority is to learn English after making the sacrifice to live apart from his girlfriend and one-year-old daughter. Alongside a 45-minute commute to Cambridge for lessons, Braima is picking up the language from his new team-mates.

He said: “I told Ansu I want to do this, to live in England.

“My brother said, ‘If that’s what you want,  you have to go for it’.”

 Balague joined the club in 2014 and has been pivotal in attracting top names, like former Espanyol and Chelsea midfielder Enrique de Lucas and ex-Rangers striker Nacho Novo.

The likes of the late Diego Maradona, Messi, Rafa Benitez and Mauricio Pochettino have also helped with signed shirts and memorabilia. The club is run by volunteers and promotes female football, youth football as well as diversity and inclusion.

5Braima and Ansu Fati are in constant contact and support each other's careersCredit: Supplied

Balague added: “It’s a massive thing for a ninth division club to have somebody like Braima.

“We wanted him to land and get to know people so we didn’t even tell people at the club.

“But people started to look at the line-up and ask questions. Now after he scored, everyone has found out.”

Braima Fati was talking from the Keech Hospice Ground, home of Biggleswade United. The club’s mission is to provide an inclusive environment and offer a pathway to English and European football to local boys and others. To follow the club and Braima go to @biggleswadeutd on Twitter.

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Barcelona finally secure Ansu Fati future as wonderkid signs six-year deal

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Nashville Mayor John Cooper Reacts to His Brother U.S. Representative Jim Coopers Retirement From Congress

          

 

Shortly after Tennessee U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) announced that he was not seeking re-election, his brother, Nashville Mayor John Cooper gave his reaction.

In a tweet, Mayor Cooper said, “This is a loss, both for Nashville and Washington. Jim is a leader with deep expertise and a great heart.”

Rep. Jim Cooper is the elder of the two brothers. Their father, William Prentice Cooper Jr., served as the 39th governor of Tennessee from 1939 to 1945. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to Peru under President Harry S. Truman.

In a reply to his original tweet, Mayor Cooper also said, “Our view is that Nashville should be kept whole – as it had been, since the days of George Washington. I’m still focused on the issues that affect Nashville’s students, families, business owners, and residents.”

The Tennessee Star previously reported that Rep. Cooper made his decision to retire from Congress because of the redistricting plans which passed the General Assembly:

Despite my strength at the polls, I could not stop the General Assembly from dismembering Nashville. No one tried harder to keep our city whole. I explored every possible way, including lawsuits, to stop the gerrymandering and to win one of the three new congressional districts that now divide Nashville. There’s no way, at least for me in this election cycle, but there may be a path for other worthy candidates.

I am announcing my decision promptly so that others have more time to campaign. I will return the individual contributions that I have received for this race so that donors can redirect them as they choose.

Redistricting, along with the veteran’s congress member’s retirement, has made the 5th Congressional District seat a targeted race for a Republican pickup. Republicans only need a handful of seats to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and a new 5th District could be one of them.

Odessa Kelly is currently the only publicly announced candidate in the Democrat primary for the 5th, but with the incumbent bowing out, the Democratic field may soon have more entrants. Kelly had been challenging Congressman Cooper for the Democrat nomination.

On the Republican side, Robby Starbuck, Natisha Brooks, and Quincy McKnight have publicly announced. Former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell is considering a run as well. Mayor Andy Ogles of Maury County is also rumored to be considering a run. More candidates may come forward.

Former spokesperson for the United States Department of State, Morgan Ortagus’ consideration for a run – with President Trump’s encouragement – has met with some backlash.

The new congressional maps await Governor Bill Lee’s signature before they take effect.

– – –

Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Jim Cooper” by U.S. House. Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

 

 

 

 

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