Everyone’s been taken aback by the emergence of Gavi. The 17-year-old midfielder broke into the Barcelona first-team before quickly making his senior bow with the Spanish national team. He started La Roja’s Nations League semi-final with Italy last week and excelled, running the engine room and going toe-to-toe with his idol, Marco Verratti. He’s an intriguing prospect.
📸 ¡¡EL FOTÓN MÁS ESPERADO!!
😃 Un vestuario unido, feliz y con ganas de ganar la #NationsLeague.
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) October 6, 2021
Part of the fascination with Gavi lies in his versatility. According to Diario Sport, it’s possible to see both the engine of Casemiro and the elegance of Andres Iniesta in his play, a rarity reflected in his meteoric rise. The Andalusian earned international recognition after just four starts under Ronald Koeman at Barcelona, and many criticised Luis Enrique for piling pressure on his slight shoulders. But he delivered under the harsh spotlight, performing like a man without an ounce of fear and ice running in his veins.
He seems to be different. There’s the hallmark of La Masia, for sure. Gavi is technically gifted and capable of running games without appearing to break a sweat. But at the same time, it’s evident that he has an aggression and an intensity to him when it comes to winning the ball back. He’s already earned three yellow cards for Barcelona in 364 minutes of action, the sign of a competitive, win-at-all-costs mentality. This evening’s clash with France, in the final of the Nations League, will be intriguing.