Why is Golden Boy winner known as Gavi? Barcelona starlet explains nickname & Real Madrid snub

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Gavi Barcelona 2022-23
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Barcelona starlet Gavi, who has claimed the prestigious Golden Boy award for 2022, has explained his nickname and why he once snubbed Real Madrid.
  • Teenager collected pair of prestigious prizes
  • Already a senior international
  • Fulfilling a boyhood dream at Camp Nou

WHAT HAPPENED? At 18 years of age, the Blaugrana starlet has been recognised as the best young player on the planet. as he was the recipient of the Kopa Trophy and the Golden Boy award. He has made a remarkable impact on the senior stage with 61 appearances for Barcelona and 12 for Spain and his name is rapidly becoming one of the most recognisable in European football.

WHAT THEY SAID: Explaining why he has 'Gavi' on his jersey, the teenage sensation told France Football: “People think it’s because of my full name: Pablo Martin Paez Gaviria. But that’s not true, with my first team, we were two players with the name Pablo, and in order to avoid the similarity, the coach called me Gavi.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barca signed the 18-year-old back in 2015 and saw him graduate through their famed La Masia youth system. Although, things could have been very different had he headed to the opposite side of a fierce Clasico divide when he was the subject of interest from Real Madrid. He explained his decision to move to Catalonia: “Why did I prefer Barcelona over Real, Atletico, and Villarreal? It’s the club I’ve always supported. I have been dreaming of playing for him since my childhood.”

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Gavi Balón de Oro

Gavi Barcelona 2022-23

Gavi Barcelona Real Madrid 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? Gavi signed a contract extension at Camp Nou through to 2026 back in September, with that deal including a €1 billion (£866m/$1bn) release clause as Barca seek to keep him in his current surroundings for the foreseeable future.