Luis Enrique described Gavi’s abilities as “out of the ordinary” following his scintillating World Cup debut for Spain.
Barcelona teenager Gavi marked his major tournament bow by scoring an exquisite volley as Luis Enrique’s team thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday, becoming the third-youngest goalscorer in World Cup history.
Only Brazil great Pele in 1958 (17 years, 239 days) and Mexico’s Manuel Rosas in 1930 (18 years, 93 days) have hit the net at the tournament when younger than Gavi, who did so at the age of 18 years and 110 days.
Asked about Gavi’s abilities during a Twitch livestream on Thursday, Luis Enrique said: “It’s not very normal, it’s something out of the ordinary.
“We all realise how difficult it is to do it at the age that he does it.
“He has good defensive appreciation. Controlling his energy is one of the things Gavi is improving. Hopefully that impetus helps him to win many balls.”
18 – Youngest goalscorers in @FIFAWorldCup history:
Pelé in 1958 (17y 239d)
Manuel Rosas in 1930 (18y 93d)
GAVI IN 2022 (18y 110d)
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 23, 2022
Spain’s second Group E fixture sees them take on Hansi Flick’s Germany in a heavyweight contest on Sunday, with Die Mannschaft reeling following their surprise defeat to Japan.
Depending on the result of Japan’s meeting with Costa Rica earlier on Sunday, another Spain victory could see them condemn the four-time winners to a group-stage exit, and Enrique expects to make changes to his starting line-up.
“I hardly repeat an eleven. It’s hard for me. There will surely be some changes,” Enrique said. “They train so well that now anyone could play with a total guarantee of a good performance.
“Today we analysed the Germany-Japan match, and we take into account its characteristics to find the players in the best shape.”