Spain’s best player in his debut at the World Cup and coach Luis Enrique’s bet to also defeat Germany, today, starting at 4 pm (Brasília time), in Al-Khor, and perhaps qualifying early for the round of 16 , is a boy who hasn’t even learned to tie his boots yet.
It seems like a joke, but midfielder Gavi, chosen by Fifa as the star in Roja’s 7-0 defeat of Costa Rica in the first round, plays with his shoes untied because he doesn’t know how to tie the laces.
The 18-year-old midfielder’s inefficiency in preparing his game equipment is a recurring joke in the squad of Barcelona, the club he joined in 2015, to play in the youth categories, and from which he never left.
Often compared to Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, midfielders who made history with the culé and Spain shirts (they won two Euros and the 2010 Cup), the teenager began to have his first opportunities as a professional at the beginning of last season. And since then, he hasn’t stopped breaking records.
As of October 2021, after just seven appearances for Barça’s first team, Gavi has already become the youngest player ever to debut for the Spanish adult national team. And his debut, aged just 17 years and 62 days, was as a starter in a classic against Italy and valid for the semifinal of the League of Nations in Europe.
Gavi was so good against the four-time world champions (and also in the 2-1 defeat by France, in the continental tournament decision) that he never left the starting lineup. Of the 14 matches he has played for Roja so far, he has only missed two.
When he arrived at Qatar-2022, the Spanish number 9 stacked another pair of precocity records.
At 18 years and 110 days, the Barcelona midfielder became the youngest player to defend Spain in World Cups. And, as he scored on his debut, in which he ended up being elected the star of the match, he also became the “baby” among the country’s athletes who have already scored a goal in the competition.
By the way, counting the athletes of all nationalities, only Pelé (17 years and 239 days, in Sweden-1958) and the Mexican Manuel Rosas (18 years and 93 days, in Uruguay-1930) engraved their names in the artillery of a World Cup more earlier than Gavi.
The new boy sensation of Spain is so young, but so young, that he even saw his mother being pointed out as the affair of someone who, at the time, was his teammate.
When Gerard Piqué ended his marriage to Colombian singer Shakira in the first half of the year, rumors emerged on social media that the reason for the separation was an extramarital affair between the then Barcelona defender and Gavi’s mother. But the story didn’t have a shred of truth in it. It was fake news from start to finish.
The Qatar Cup is the first to be held in the Middle East and features seven of the eight teams that have already lifted the cup. For the second consecutive edition, four-time champion Italy failed to qualify and is low.
The tournament is being played at the end of the year, and not in its usual period (June and July), because of the heat in the host country during the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
This is the last edition of the FIFA competition with the format that has been used since France-1998. From the next World Cup, organized by the United States, Canada and Mexico, there will be 48 participants in the dispute for the title.
World Cup – Group E
23/11 – Germany 1 x 2 Japan, Khalifa International, in Al-Rayyan
23/11 – Spain 7 x 0 Costa Rica, Al-Thumama, in Doha
Today at 7am – Japan v Costa Rica, Ahmed bin Ali, in Al-Rayyan
Today at 4 pm – Spain v Germany, Al-Bayt, in Al-Khor
12/01, at 4pm – Japan v Spain, Khalifa International, in Al-Rayyan
12/01, at 4 pm – Costa Rica v Germany, Al-Bayt, in Al-Khor
Which team will win the Qatar World Cup?
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