Barcelona teenager Gavi enjoyed a memorable night for many reasons on Wednesday as he made his international debut for Spain in the team’s 2-1 semi-final win over Italy in the Nations League.
The youngster made history as he took to the pitch, becoming Spain’s youngest ever player at the age of 17 years and 62 days, and earned rave reviews after the game for his impressive showing.
Gavi also showed off a weird injury collected during his 83 minutes on the pitch as he celebrated the win after full-time. The 17-year-old has a huge scratch across his chest, as spotted by Barca fans on Twitter.
Gavi’s injury can also be seen in an Instagram post by Barcelona team-mate Sergi Roberto. The midfielder is sitting with Roberto and Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke in the locker room after the win.
It’s not entirely clear how Gavi ended up with the scratch but it certainly won’t wipe the smile off his face after an incredible start to the 2021-22 campaign which has brought surprise debuts for club and country.
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‘Not Normal’ Gavi Praised By Luis Enrique
There was plenty of praise for Gavi after his showing against Italy. Coach Luis Enrique was happy to talk about the teenager after the win, as reported by Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.
“It’s not normal that he plays like that [at 17]. He’s a player with personality, enviable physical conditions and he plays our style of football. He plays like he’s at school or in his garden at home,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to have a player with that quality and character with us. We can say that he’s the national team’s present, not [just] the future.”
Squawka Football highlighted Gavi’s stats as he looked completely at home on his first start despite being up against experienced Italy midfielders such as Jorginho and Marco Veratti.
Luis Enrique also explained how Gavi had thoroughly enjoyed playing against Verratti, a player the Barcelona teenager has previously idolized, as reported by Football Italia.
“See how good the kids are in Spain! It is not normal to see a player with this character, this confidence on his debut. He will be the future of the Spain squad and I think the present too,” he said. “Verratti is his idol! I told him, today you press Verratti from the first moment to the last. He loved it.”
Gavi’s performance and Luis Enrique’s comments after the game suggests the teenager could start again on Sunday in the Nations League final. Spain will play the winner of Thursday’s second semi-final between Belgium and France.
Gavi Part of Bright Barcelona Future
The emergence of Gavi this season has been one of the rare bright spots in a disappointing start to the campaign by Barcelona. The midfielder has gone straight from the club’s Under-19 side to the first team and has already made seven appearances for the Catalan giants.
Gavi is one of a host of exciting young talents at the club which does offer supporters hope of a bright future following the departure of Lionel Messi and despite the club’s ongoing financial problems.
Barca highlighted the talent they have available with a post on Twitter featuring Gavi and fellow starlets such as Ansu Fati, Pedri, Nico Gonzalez, Riqui Puig, Oscar Mingueza, and Ronald Araujo.
Barca’s financial problems means the club has been forced to turn to their famous La Masia youth academy once again, and there is certainly no shortage of talent coming through the ranks currently at the Camp Nou.