Paco Alcacer to Barcelona: Five things about Luis Enrique's new signing

Barcelona's exhaustive search for an extra forward has finally come to an end with the signing of Paco Alcacer from Valencia for €30 million. Here are five things you need to know about the new front man.

He has had to overcome personal tragedy

Aug. 13, 2011 looked set to be the best day of Alcacer's life. It quickly turned into his worst. With his 18th birthday approaching, the striker was promoted to Valencia's first team for the first time for a friendly against Roma and took no time to make his mark on the Mestalla crowd, scoring a goal to the delight of his family watching in the stands. But tragedy struck as the youngster was leaving the ground for home with his parents when his father, also called Paco, suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the pavement. The club doctors tried in vain to revive him, but Paco senior had already passed away.

From then on, every time Valencia played at home, Alcacer would be reminded of the saddest day of his life. He admits the tragedy forced him to mature quickly. "I was hit hard and out of nowhere when I was 18. I couldn't even say goodbye to my father, it was so tough," he told El Pais.

"But that gave me the strength to keep fighting and see things in a different way."

When he scored his first goal for Spain three years after his father's passing, the player had only one thing on his mind, and pointed his fingers to the sky.

He grew up scoring goals

It takes some players time to refine their finishing, but not Alcacer, who spent his teenage years bulging nets all over Europe. He scored 14 times in the 2009/10 European Under-17 Championship including qualifying -- a record that still stands. Spain lost in the final to England but Alcacer made his mark on successive U19 European Championships.

He started on the bench in the 2011 final against Czech Republic but came into his own in extra time, scoring the equaliser and winning goal in the space of seven minutes to give Spain a 3-2 win. He got his hands on the trophy again the following year, netting in a 3-3 semifinal thriller against a France side containing Paul Pogba and new Barca teammate Samuel Umtiti. He scored in the subsequent shootout to set up a final against Greece, where Jese scored the only goal.

He knows how to seize the moment

A big reason why it has taken Barca so long to land a forward is because their targets knew they would have their work cut out in jostling with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar for one of the starting berths in attack. Yet Alcacer has spent his career battling for a place in the starting XI and is not one to go into a strop when he doesn't get picked, making him the ideal fourth forward for Luis Enrique. He faced fierce competition at Valencia, having to scrap for minutes with Alvaro Negredo and Santi Mina last term, and had to make do with only 51 league starts in the last two seasons, scoring 24 goals.

Nor does he need much time to settle into a team: he needed just 16 minutes of international football to open his account for Spain on his debut against Macedonia. He also finished top scorer for La Roja in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, netting five goals in four starts.

Asked about how he stays focused when not in the team, he said: "If you don't play for 20 days you have to be ready on the 21st. I wasn't supposed to play for Spain against Macedonia but Diego Costa got injured. I played and I scored. It's not easy, but my mentality is work, work, work."

He is a self-confessed scavenger

Alcacer grew up idolising Ronaldo but admits to being closer in style to Raul for his knack of "Being in the right place at the right time."

The striker admits his strength is finishing and not dribbling, joking in an interview that every time he practised running with the ball he would end up falling over. "I know what my strengths are and I try to make the most of them. I know what my style is. I need to be in the box, that's my work place."

He used to be work shy

Alcacer comes from a family of farmers but never wanted that life for himself, partly because he didn't fancy the early starts. His obvious talent at football was another factor, although he has admitted he didn't always pull his weight.

He said: "I was probably a bit lazy and I could have worked harder. I've improved a lot in that aspect because my teammates taught me how important it was. I wasn't born perfect. I always knew I had a talent for scoring but I didn't always realise that by my side there was a team that worked a lot harder than me."