Spanish teen hailed after making World Cup history
Spanish midfielder Gavi etched his name into the history books in his team’s 7-0 demolition of Costa Rica at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, becoming the youngest goalscorer at the tournament since Pele back in 1958.
Gavi produced a man-of-the-match performance as Spain kicked off their campaign in style on Wednesday.
Aged just 18 years and 110 days old, the Barcelona ace became the youngest player to appear for Spain at a World Cup or European Championship.
He made further history with a stylish finish for Spain’s fifth goal, arriving at the edge of the box before sending the ball in off the post with the outside of his right foot.
The strike made Gavi the youngest World Cup goalscorer since Pele was on target for Brazil in the quarterfinal of the 1958 World Cup, when he was aged 17 years and 239 days old.
Prior to that, Mexico’s Manuel Rosas scored at the inaugural 1930 World Cup when aged 18 years and 93 days, making him the second youngest on the all-time list.
“I’m really happy to win MVP but today we all did a really great game and I’m really happy for all of them,” Gavi said of his team’s win.
“I know I’m the youngest in the team and I respect everyone, but on the field it’s different and I bring out my best. I’m proud to be in that podium.”
Managed by former international star Luis Enrique, the Spain team blends the likes of young talents Gavi and Barcelona teammate Pedri with more experienced heads such as Sergio Busquets.
Spain’s resounding win at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha means they lead the way in Group E on three points, ahead of Japan on goal difference.
The Japanese pulled off a major upset when they came back to beat Germany 2-1 earlier on Wednesday.
Spain and Germany next meet in a blockbuster clash on Sunday, the same day as Japan face Costa Rica.