Spanish Super Cup: Gavi’s incredible evening against Real Madrid

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“The existence of a leader is observed more often than it is proclaimed”, supported the former French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin. Words that ring true when looking at the score delivered by Pablo Martín Páez Gavira, better known as Gavi, Sunday evening at the King Fahd International Stadium. If he wasn’t wearing the captain’s armband, the Barca gem looked like anything but an inexperienced 18-year-old leaving leadership to his partners on the Saudi night. Fighting, constantly haranguing his teammates, the Spaniard was obviously the technical symbol triumph over Real Madridbut also the standard bearer of the pugnacity of his teammates.

And this character of leader, Gavi did not wait for January 15, 2023 to display it. He demonstrates it every weekend with the Blaugranas jersey since his debut. So much so that his temperament was sometimes wrong during his first steps with his heart club, especially on the disciplinary level. In his first season with the Catalans, the 1.73 meter player picked up 16 cards, but also a red card against Granada. A fact that his trainer, Xavi, had perfectly explained in a press conference. “Gavi’s red card shows their lack of experience. But it comes with time, and I can’t ask for more from Gavi.”


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“An innate leader”

The legend of Spanish football was right on his colt, since this season Gavi received only five yellow cards. Number 30 of FC Barcelona has succeeded in channeling his energy to make better use of it, without losing this state of mind that gives him his strength. An ability to pull up his team, which Xavi can no longer pass (17 starts out of 24 games played). Apart from his goal and his two assists against the White House this Sunday, the midfielder has also won 10 of his 12 duels, doing a staggering recovery job. At the end of the meeting, the Catalan strategist did not fail to pay him a vibrant tribute. ” I am speechless. He is a pure passion, a pure soul. I feel bad when he doesn’t play. He infects the team and he is only 18 years old. The heart he puts into it is incredible. Gavi is a boy who excites us all. He has soul and character and it’s contagious. He is an innate leader and it comes from within him. The anger coming out of him is spectacular. I never tire of praising it. This boy has no limits. »

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A glass ceiling that Gavi was able to break again during this final by achieving all that we could sometimes blame him for: efficiency in the offensive zone. Positioned on the left side, the young Spaniard was able to present himself several times in the zone of truth. His goal for the opener testifies well to his skill in front of the cages and his two caviars, for Robert Lewandowski and Pedri, show how decisive he can be on the wings by his quality of passing. And that, the Polish center-forward understood very quickly. “Before the match, I told Gavi to stay close to me”confided the 35-year-old striker at the end of the match. “I knew we could do good things together. » The captain, Sergio Busquets, was also very complimentary towards the Golden Boy 2022. “Gavi is a beast. At this age, the majority of players are still in the lower categories. He has a great future, I hope he will mark the history of Barça. »

And the main interested party, when does he say? Only very rarely speaking, the Spanish international preferred to play modesty. “I am happy with this victory. Personally, I still have a lot of room for improvement, I’m very good, but we have to continue to improve. How do I define myself? Like a player who always gives everything for the team. » Give everything for his shirt, words that perfectly reflect the mentality of this “erupting volcano”, as his coach Luis Enrique had nicknamed him. While there is no doubt that Gavi has (already) established itself as one of the pillars of the Barcelona midfield, his sense of teamwork and excess of energy could allow him one day to wear the captain’s armband… Even if he does not need this distinction to assert himself, quite the contrary.

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Spanish Super Cup: Gavi’s incredible evening against Real Madrid