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an “erupting volcano” conquering Europe

BarcelonaPaez Gavira, Pablo Gavi, he is one of the pieces that work best at Barça, either because he is one of the producers of the good game that Xavi Hernández pursues, or because of the illusion that an 18-year-old player assumes to be so decisive and leave his skin for a shirt defended, still, by those who have won so many titles in recent years. The young 18-year-old midfielder was crowned this Monday as the best young player in Europe, beating the Englishman Bellingham (Dortmund) and Real Madrid’s Camavinga. It is home to the Kopa trophy, recent successor to the Golden Boy award, previously given by Tuttosport. Barça, a team that motivated everyone at the beginning of the year and that now, after some important stumbles, has once again been the object of criticism, has solid reasons to look further thanks to values ​​like the Andalusian, who collects the testimony de Pedri, teammate and Kopa winner a year ago.

Xavi praised Gavi when the youngster renewed in September with the Catalan club until 2026. “His intention was always to stay at Barça. He must remain competitive and continue to show his personality. It is very important to us. We have to take care of him and pamper him so that he is happy”, said the Egaren coach, aware that Los Palacios prioritized continuing at the club that bet on his training instead of accepting offers like those from Bayern or the Liverpool. Gavi arrived at Barcelona from Betis in 2015 and, without going through the youth team, was promoted to the first team by Ronald Koeman. Before making the jump, he got out of ESO and enrolled in an intermediate level of sports that he has not yet finished. “We were very keen for him to study and during the pandemic he was quite fanatical about the face mask”, recalls one of the tutors who accompanied him not so long ago in the Oriol Tort building.

Gavi has earned a place in the Barça first team and also in the Spanish national team. In fact, his precociousness is such that it only took him six games in the elite to get the call from Luis Enrique. Last June, he became the youngest scorer in the history of the state team. The coach has always been delighted with Gavi’s performance: “He is an erupting volcano. It’s hard not to fall in love with it. Today he came out and was differentiating”, affirmed the Asturian trainer in a game in which the young interior acted as a shocker. The same thing happened in Sunday’s classic. When Xavi put him to play, Barça won in intensity. As a test, the Blaugrana only committed one foul during the first half at the Bernabéu. Gavi, in half an hour during the second, made five. It is pure passion, exciting in every clash, with a lot of room for improvement in the understanding and execution of the positional game.

Gavi takes home the Kopa trophy

Only Bojan surpasses him in precocity

So far, the youngster from Barça has played a total of 12 games with the absolute selection and has been present in all the calls since October 2021, in which he has been the undisputed starter in a core with a clear tone , on the edge of Busquets and Pedri. Gavi’s role is expected to continue to be key in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which starts on November 20. At the start of this season, starting ahead of Frenkie de Jong, he became the second-youngest player in Barça history to complete 50 games for Blaugrana (the first of his generation). Born in August 2003, he made all 50 appearances on the third day of the League against Valladolid, aged 18 years and 23 days. He surpassed Pedri, who reached the same figure at 18 years and 5 months, but was behind Bojan Krkic, who reached it at 18 years and 3 days.

Gavi’s impetus is a breath of fresh air in a Barça plagued by doubts. The Andalusian, along with Pedri, Araujo, Balde, Eric Garcia or Ansu Fati, are the most important pieces in Xavi’s dressing room. They are the ones who justify optimism about the future while trying to help in a present that sometimes overwhelms them.

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