How little it took Gavi in silencing the doubts that caused his first call-up with the senior team last October. Its premiere in the Nations League also generated criticism of Luis Enrique, who once again showed his personality to bet on a footballer without even having gone through the U-21. The coach put age and experience aside. He saw in the boy the talent and personality when playing in the Barça and he did not doubt that he could also contribute to the national team. “That he is not a starter against Italy,” he replied when asked about the inclusion of the 17-year-old on the list.
It was headline and it left. So much so that L’Equipe made it the cover for the preview of the final between Spain and France. It was the sensation also in the final, against Verratti and Pogba neither more nor less, and their performances, added to the role in the Barça, they also confirmed him to be in the most decisive moment of the qualifying phase for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
He started again against Greece, where he played 65 minutes at a high level, but his consolidation in La Roja came at home. Born in Los Palacios and Villafranca, a town in the province of Seville, playing at La Cartuja was a reward for him and his entire family. They were all in the stadium to see it live. His family, his parents, his sister, his uncles, his grandparents … no one was missing. Neither his friends in town nor his agent, Ivan de la Peña, who did not want to miss the important commitment of his player against Sweden.
The match of Pablo Páez Gavira ‘Gavi’ it was for framing. Luis Enrique gave him continuity, for the fourth consecutive game and the boy did not disappoint anyone. He offered himself between the lines, he offered a recital of position play, taking advantage of all the spaces and providing solutions to the teammates. With the ball he was clairvoyant, broke lines and moved the national team from the left connecting with Alba and Olmo. And in intense defense as always.
For all this, La Cartuja, ‘his’ Cartuja, dismissed him with a thunderous ovation when Luis Enrique he replaced him at the last minute. Like the cracks.