‘Gavi was kicking people!’ - Azpilicueta stunned by confidence of Spain’s ‘new generation’
- La Roja putting faith in youth
- Teenagers playing with no fear
- World Cup glory being pursued
WHAT HAPPENED? Said outing was taken in by the Barcelona starlet when he was just 17 years of age, becoming the youngest player to earn a full cap for La Roja in the process. Gavi is now gracing a World Cup stage with his country at Qatar 2022, with an exciting crop of young talent proving to more established stars that nothing fazes them.
WHAT THEY SAID: Chelsea defender Azpilicueta, who formed part of Luis Enrique’s plans when Gavi made his bow against Italy in October 2021, has told The Guardian: “This is a new generation. There are times you help but the kids now have such confidence. Take Gavi’s debut. They were telling me: ‘Keep him calm.’ What do you mean, ‘Keep him calm’? Normally you have to get them going, push them. No, no, not him: there he was kicking people. I was like: there’s no way I could have done that at 17.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Gavi is already up to 16 appearances for Spain and continues to catch the eye for club and country, with a new long-term contract signed at Camp Nou back in September seeing a €1 billion (£866m/$1bn) release clause included in it.
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WHAT NEXT? Gavi’s focus for now, along with that of Azpilicueta, is locked on international matters as Spain ready themselves for a last-16 showdown with Morocco on Tuesday at the 2022 World Cup.