How old is gavi barcelona ? It was in November 2021 that people started to talk about Gavi’s laces. A photo showed Nico Gonzalez tying the player’s boots for him during a Champions League match for Barcelona at Dynamo Kyiv.
Gavi, then 17, stood with his hands on his hips, watching as his midfield team-mate apparently came to his aid. Later, Gonzalez posted the picture on Instagram with the caption: “It’s really time you learned…”
But the truth is there was no lesson going on, nor did the scene have anything to do with the Kyiv cold.
Manuel Basco, his first coach at his first youth side, La Liara Balompie, picks up the story.
“Gavi’s always played with his laces untied,” he says.
“He’s done it ever since he was six years old. The funny thing is that he’s never stepped on them. We always told him to tie them, but he played just as well that way. He had another habit, too: sticking his tongue out halfway down his cheek. He made me suffer, I thought that one day he was going to bite it off.”
Barcelona midfielder Gavi is considered one of the best young talents on the planet. Now 18, he has already played 77 times for Barca and made 17 appearances for his country — he became the youngest player in Spain’s history last year.
In October, he won the Kopa Trophy, presented to the world’s best player under the age of 21, at the Ballon d’Or awards.
Those who know Gavi say he is the spitting image of his mother. They say his shy demeanour off the pitch comes from her. Others say he takes after his father. From him he’s said to have the competitive character he has when playing.
Possibly, like everything good in life, he is a bit of both.
This is the story of Gavi’s remarkable football trajectory, from the little boy starting out in his home town in Andalusia to the Barcelona first team, the Champions League, and the World Cup with Spain, just 12 years on from his first steps in the game.
Pablo Paez Gavira — ‘Gavi’ — was born on August 5, 2004, near the banks of the Guadalquivir, the river that crosses Andalusia from east to west before merging with the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean.
He grew up in Los Palacios y Villafranca, an agricultural town of about 38,000 inhabitants located half an hour south of Seville. Strolling through its streets, past its low, white houses with colourful flowers on the balconies, you realise there is a different pace to life here; slow and watchful.
The town’s most iconic building is the 30-metre-high water tower that looms over two adjoining football stadiums. Over recent decades three Spain internationals have emerged from these pitches; PSG midfielder Fabian Ruiz, Sevilla’s veteran winger Jesus Navas and now Gavi.
There is a local legend that links the three.
The rich soil makes Los Palacios tomatoes particularly flavourful and sought after; they are recognised for their quality. The more creative among the town’s inhabitants believe these tomatoes and their special nutritional quality holds the key to the three footballers’ success.
When you hear people recall Gavi’s unique talent, it’s clear there’s more to it than that.
Who is Gavi? Barcelona teen star becomes Spain’s youngest-ever player vs. Italy
Barcelona prodigy Gavi became the youngest player ever to appear in a senior Spain international after being picked by manager Luis Enrique to start the UEFA Nations League semifinal clash with Italy.
The 17-year-old central midfielder has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season so far for Barcelona and he was a surprise call-up in Spain’s October squad for the UEFA Nations League finals.
Gavi was picked alongside Barca teammate Sergio Busquets and Atletico Madrid’s Koke in a three-man La Roja midfield to face the reigning European champions.
His Barcelona teammate Pedri, who’s also come on strong in recent months, is not in the squad, opening up an opportunity for his fellow teen academy product, who got the start over Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino.
At 17 years and 62 days he is the youngest man ever to pull on the Spain shirt, breaking a record previously set by Angel Zubieta in 1936.
Fellow Blaugrana wonderkid Ansu Fati came close to breaking the record himself last year, making his Spain bow at 17 years and 308 days to become the second-youngest debutant after Zubieta.
Gavi has been with Barcelona since the age of 11, having been recruited initially from the Real Betis youth system.
His march through the Catalan academy has since been dizzying, as he signed his first professional contract in September 2020 and one year later, just weeks after his 17th birthday, received his first-team bow in La Liga against Getafe on August 29.
To date Gavi has made seven appearances for Barcelona in all competitions, with four of those coming off the bench. All three of his starts have come in Barcelona’s last three La Liga games.
Gavi’s road to Barcelona’s first team
His name is Pablo Martin Paez Gavira, otherwise known as Gavi.
“I am a technical player, agile and who arrives into the penalty area,” is how Gavi himself described his game at the age of 16, though he could have been describing any number of players to emerge from La Masia over the years.
Gavi has come a long way in the six years since he arrived at Barca. A native of Los Palacios y Villafrance, a small town around 30 kilometres outside of Seville, Gavi immediately stood out for his technical excellence and physical strength.
“He is so technically gifted,” Franc Artiga, a former coach of Gavi’s at La Masia, told GOAL last year. “He is capable of changing a what he is about to do in tenths of a second, and improvising under any circumstance of the game. It is very difficult to find a player with these abilities, and with this speed of execution.”
Gavi’s ability, as well as his growing stature, meant he went straight from playing Under-17s football to the U19s, missing out a whole age-group all together in a move that very rarely happens at Barca’s famed academy.
His physical development has since allowed him to make a breakthrough with Barcelona and now a debut with Spain.
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