Gavi de Barcelona (17) became the youngest to play for the Spanish national team. Made the European champions fade away. Marco Verratti (28) had to use all means to stop the young man.
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The coach of the national team, Luis Enrique, decided to let the Barcelona prodigy have the opportunity from the beginning in the semi-final of the Nations League against Italy. And it did not disappoint.
– Gavi? Play as if it were in the schoolyard or in the backyard. It is the future and the present of the Spanish team, Enrique said at the post-match press conference.
Spain beat Italy 2-1 and thus qualified for the Nations League final. On Thursday night, the opponent will be ready. It will be Belgium or France.
Italy lost for the first time in three years: Spain ready for the Nations League final
The 17-year-old has been one of the few bright spots in Barcelona so far this season. He played teammate Sergio Busquets and Koke of Atlético de Madrid in midfield against Italy on Wednesday.
At 17 years and 62 days, he is the youngest of all time. The old record was set by Ángel Zubieta in 1936. Gavi’s teammate Ansu Fati was pretty close last season. He debuted at the age of 17 years and 308 days.
– Look what good guys we have in Spain! It is not normal to see a player with such confidence in himself and character in his debut, says Luis Enrique to the RAI.
– Verratti is your role model. I told Gavi that today he must push Verratti from the first to the last moment, Enrique continues. Marco Verratti is the Paris Saint-Germain player who became one of the heroes of the European Championship in Italy last summer.
– Gavi made top players like Jorginho and Marco Verratti look average, he writes football-espana.net.
– I was impressed by Gavi. I did not know him. He played a great game, you can see that he has enormous potential, declared Italian Emerson Palmieri after the game.
Midfield colleague Koke was also impressed:
– Age is just a number. It doesn’t matter how old you are when you act. The important thing is to perform, it does not matter if you are 17 or 37 years old, he said in a later interview.
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He is also praised for player exchanges. “Brave” is one of the positive words in WHATs evaluation. Sportsavisen gave Gavi 8, and only two players got more.
Mark For his part, he writes that Gave was not nervous at all, he contributed defensively and showed the qualities he has in the last third.
Gavi has been with Barcelona since he was eleven years old, coming from the Real Betis quarry.
The tour of the Catalan club’s youth ranks has been quick with a professional contract in September 2020 and a debut in the A shortly after turning 17 years old. He already has seven games for Barça in competitive matches, but is still awaiting his first goal.