At just 17 years and 62 days, midfielder Gavi became the country’s youngest international player when he made his UEFA Nations League debut against Italy on Wednesday.
“We’ve already talked about how that’s an unusual case,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said after the match. “He is playing like his backyard. It is a pleasure to see a player with this quality and personality.
“He is the future of the national team like many other players but he also showed that he is part of the present.”
The teenager broke ngel Zubieta’s 85-year record after the Athletic Bilbao player made his debut in 1936 at the age of 17 years and 284 days.
‘Nothing is too much’
Given his inexperience at the top level, Gavi’s debut was remarkable at times.
Playing against established Italian stars such as Marco Verratti and Jorginho, the midfielder demonstrated his world-class close control and ability to run with the ball.
Entered the Barcelona Academy as a child, his rise to the top is rapid but his confidence knows no bounds.
He only made his senior debut for the Catalan side in August this year, but along with the likes of Anu Fati and Pedri, he is now considered the future of the club.
“Nothing is too much for him, he has the personality and quality to play at this level,” Enrique said after raising a few eyebrows with his squad selection.
And it was a start to remember for Gavi, as Spain finally ended the European champions’ unbeaten run.
Manchester City’s Ferran Torres’ two first-half goals kept the visitors in control and the game appeared to be over after Italy captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent for a second yellow card.
A late goal from Lorenzo Pellegrini gave the hosts hope but Spain were just too organized and deserved the win.
Enrique said, “The game was played beautifully for us but it was a match of two rivals, who were fighting with hammer and tongs with their best strength on show.”
Spain will now face either France or Belgium in the final of the Nations League.
Credit : www.cnn.com