Luis Enrique said that Gavi is Spain’s “future and present” after the Barcelona midfielder became the national team’s youngest ever player in Wednesday’s Nations League win over Italy.
At 17 years and 62 days old, Gavi broke an 85-year-old record when he to took the San Siro field for the 2-1 victory which put Spain in Sunday’s final and ended the Azzurri’s world record 37-match unbeaten run.
He showed composure alongside Barca teammate Sergio Busquets and Luis Enrique is convinced not only that he has a long future with La Roja, but that he can slot in right now.
“He’s a player who can play between the lines, doesn’t lose ball, has good technique, and is physical,” Luis Enrique told reporters.
“We knew what he would bring; personality, willingness to play, courage. Nothing is too much for him. He is a very complete player.
“He can be the future of this team, but he can also be its present too because he has the personality to play at this level.”
Gavi broke the record held by Angel Zubieta Redondo, who donned the Spain jersey for the first time in a 1936 friendly against Czechoslovakia when 17 years and 284 days old.
He was named in the starting line-up for the match despite only having five La Liga appearances to his name, and match-winner Ferran Torres also praised his maturity on the field.
“He’s young, and off the pitch he’s quiet, almost timid and shy,” said Torres, who scored both of Spain’s goals.
“But we saw on the pitch what kind of player he can be.”