There are all sorts of stats and accolades that illustrate how talented Gavi is — the Golden Boy award, Spain's youngest goalscorer, the youngest World Cup scorer since Pelé — but he's a phenomenon best experienced live.
The sky might be falling on Barcelona (littered with fake cash featuring the word "MAFIA"), but Gavi's willing to take on that duel. "Lost cause" is not in the 18-year-old's lexicon.
I don't have the official stat — I don't think Opta tracks this data — but I'm willing to bet that Gavi leads the planet in attempted face tackles this calendar year. The teenager got started against Sevilla on Feb. 5 by intercepting one with his head.
@espnfc #Gavi giving Carles Puyol vibes #fcbarcelona #barcelona #barca #laliga #futbol ♬ original sound - Ian Asher
On Sunday against Athletic Club, Gavi went postal in the xFT (expected face tackles) category. He's the first to reach 2.0 xFT in one game (and the youngest).
He almost took the ball off Dani García by transforming himself into a human torpedo, but the Athletic midfielder got rid while simultaneously kicking Pedri's face into the ground. Jogo Bonito.
Gavi #lazabawa #ATHBAR pic.twitter.com/N3dnYq1eCh— Szymon Kochalski (@SzymonKochalski) March 12, 2023
Gavi... pic.twitter.com/9NxicxcR3w— Obey Man (@NkuahObedia1) March 12, 2023
Gavi doing whatever it takes to win the ball pic.twitter.com/I0GwVOtn4L— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 12, 2023
Then, after a nice piece of skill, Gavi tried to give Raúl García the business.
Gavi is taking “fighting for the badge” way too far now pic.twitter.com/77g8PsRpeE— ™️ (@_yj144) March 12, 2023
We've got to enjoy Gavi while we can because this trademark skill might result in his head getting punted out of the Camp Nou.
Gavi every match pic.twitter.com/7AOry7dPr2— (@Saweezyy) March 12, 2023
Outside of Gavi's new interpretation of playing the game, Barcelona beat Athletic 1-0 after the VAR awarded Raphinha's goal and took away Iñaki Williams' late equalizer. After the week we've had in LaLiga, it was always going to be controversial.
After a VAR check, Raphinha's goal stands!1-0 Barcelona pic.twitter.com/IHcxXejr3Q
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 12, 2023
Inaki Williams' equalizer vs. Barca was ruled out by VAR because of a handball in the build up of the goal. pic.twitter.com/8wj0cAm05z— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 12, 2023
Barça have a nine-point lead over Real Madrid ahead of El Clásico next Sunday.