The Ivorian’s story is the epitome of the phrase ‘from zero to hero’. Being doubted by many upon his arrival at Camp Nou in the summer, now Kessie is hailed as the hero of the Blaugrana.
From disappointing spells of just a few minutes at the end of the matches, he has gone a long way until scoring a winner in the Clásico, and his determination and work ethic stands as an inspiring example for anyone.
When arrived in the summer on a free transfer from Serie A winners AC Milan, many raised their eyebrows whether his signing is worth it, given the incompatibility between his profile and the club’s playstyle. Franck Kessie was seen as an outsider, a foreign entity that doesn’t fit Xavi’s system, and his early showings justified these shouts.
Indeed he doesn’t possess such an exquisite technical ability as the likes of Pedri, de Jong, or Gavi, but his off-the-ball work and physical presence add a new dimension to the Catalans’ midfield. This could be useful at times, as it did pay off against Real Madrid as well, but it is also true that this Barcelona side often requires rather those traits that he does not excel in.
But, with his exemplary work ethic and never-fading determination, he worked his way into the team – indeed Pedri’s injury massively helped him in doing so. And here we are, after back-to-back decisive Clásico performances as he forced the own goal out of Militão in Madrid, and at Camp Nou, he was the hero to score the ecstatic winner for the joy of the Camp Nou faithful.