Viewers of the showdown between Spain and Portugal on Thursday evening have flooded to social media, to single one member of the former’s midfield out for special praise.
La Roja, of course, were back in action a short time ago.
As part of the opening round of Nations League fixtures, Luis Enrique’s troops welcomed fellow heavyweights Portugal to Seville, for a highly-anticipated clash.
And, when all was said and done, the two European giants did not disappoint, en route to an entertaining 1-1 stalemate.
It was hosts Spain who opened the scoring on the night, when a wonderful break from deep was finished with ease by the arriving Alvaro Morata:
Morata gives Spain the lead but it’s all about how Gavi made it happen 🤌 pic.twitter.com/74ZRK14jrW
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) June 2, 2022
Portugal, though, soon worked their way back into proceedings, before bagging what ultimately proved a decisive equaliser through Ricardo Horta with 82 minutes on the clock.
The evening’s two nations, in turn, sit joint-2nd in the League A Group 2 table, behind the Czech Republic, who got their own campaign off to a winning start courtesy of a 2-1 downing of Switzerland.
With a wealth of talent – including the likes of Sergio Busquets, Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva – on display at the Benito Villamarin this evening, it should come as little surprise to hear that fans from across the globe tuned in in their absolute numbers to take in the action between Spain and Portugal.
Amid the exchanges between the countries, though, it was the name of another which found itself upon the lips of viewers the world over.
The player in question? Gavi.
In the absence of Barcelona teammate Pedri, prodigious talent Gavi was afforded his latest international start on Thursday, taking his place in the middle of the park alongside the aforementioned Busquets and Carlos Soler.
And the 17-year-old, in turn, went on to firmly steal the show.
After playing a key role in Morata’s opener courtesy of a lung-busting run from deep, Gavi continued to impress throughout, en route to what many viewed as a Man of the Match display:
🇪🇸 Gavi vs. Portugal (81 minutes):
• 2 key passes
• 2 fouls won
• 2 interceptions
• 5 duels won
• 94% passing
• 100% take-on success
• 100% long ball accuracy
• 0x dribbled past 🔒
• Clean sheet ✅
Portugal scored less than 60 seconds after he came off.
17 years old. pic.twitter.com/41GIdx4Zbv
— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) June 2, 2022
And the online reaction has since proven a sight to behold, with just some of the highlights from across social media showcased below:
Gavi is 17 years old and he’s bossing and schooling Portugal midfielders bernado Silva, bruno and Moutinho haha .. Barca effect
— Unruly King (@unrulyking00) June 2, 2022
Gavi goes off n Portugal score, not a coincidence imo… pic.twitter.com/x2UfMVQr5u
— tia (@tiamortonn) June 2, 2022
Well played Gavi. Best player on the pitch
— CHAMP14NS 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 (@adhi_SRF1995) June 2, 2022
Gavi is such a special player, man 🔥🔥 only 17 you know. Already a Don. I always say, football is about quality, not age.
— thatguymo. 🇿🇦🌍🇩🇪 (@Interredd) June 2, 2022
gavi bossing portugal midfield ofc when he gets subbed of they score pic.twitter.com/EbPpWuBvOq
— Messie™️🇨🇩🇿🇦🇫🇷 (@Ftblmessie) June 2, 2022
Astonishing to think that Barca’s Gavi is still only only 17. Currently wowing for Spain against Portugal and displaying not only technical ability but incredible maturity and vision for someone so young. 👏👏 🥇#SpainPortugal #GAVI pic.twitter.com/gNZ2bHi4Ig
— The Football Stew (@StewFootball) June 2, 2022
What a ridiculous talent Gavi is for 17 years old, he’s toying with Portugal’s midfield here.
— Shaun (@shaunpk92) June 2, 2022
Wow Gavi played an amazing game. But Gavi off then tv off👍
— HelloThere (@JamesCule11) June 2, 2022
Gavi is a special talent. Only 17. Superb for Spain tonight v Portugal.
— Spion Kop (@TheKopHQ) June 2, 2022
Gavi being just 17 makes no sense. The best player on a pitch that also features midfielders like Busquets and Bernardo Silva.
— Srinivas Sadhanand (@notsrini_) June 2, 2022