You had to go back almost a year (February 2022) to find Gavi’s last goal (18 years old) in the first team. The midfielder is used to giving away sacrifice, of course football, but not targets. Until this Sunday. The youth squad player was present in all of Barcelona’s goals in the clásico (one goal and two assists) and became the youngest footballer to sign a goal and an assist in the history of the clásicos. “You know how he competes. At that age most of the players are in the youth team and he is giving an incredible level with assists and goals in the first team. He has a bright future and a lot of room for improvement”, said Sergio Busquets, captain of Barcelona. Xavi added to the compliments: “Gavi excites us all competing like this. He puts soul, heart and character, and it spreads to the team. He has anger and leadership. That he does not stop, this boy has no roof ”. Gavi was precisely the key for Xavi in the classic.
Xavi did not forget the last duel against Real Madrid. At the Santiago Bernabéu, Carlo Ancelotti’s board had imposed itself with authority on that of the Barça coach. The strategy, nothing strange in the roadmap of the Italian coach: Fede Valverde as a wild card. Then, the white team won 3-1 in the first classic of the season. But the Barça coaching staff had a plan to counteract Madrid. “We are prepared to play a better game than the one in the League,” announced Sergio Alegre, Xavi Hernández’s collaborator, in the run-up to the Super Cup final. The Barca staff member was right. As in the tough duel against Atlético de Madrid (0-1), Barcelona sought to reinforce the wings. In the Metropolitan, Pedri was placed as a false winger. This Sunday, in Arabia, Xavi placed Gavi on the wing. And he was right. And how he got it right. “It is very important to win, but I care a lot about how. We wanted to create superiorities and Gavi has understood this very well. He has come up perfectly with what was proposed, we have lost few balls and I am happy for the players who have received a lot of unfair criticism ”, analyzed Xavi. Along the same lines, Busquets added: “We reinforced the center to gain that superiority, Ronald to stop the counters and Vinicius. He has been very good. We have left Madrid on the wings and we have started that pressure and we have felt very comfortable”.
Xavi’s drawing practically matched that of Ancelotti: Gavi’s intensity emulates that of Fede Valverde. The Barca squad player, in any case, was protected by the rhythm of another young pearl from La Masia, Alejandro Balde. Barcelona football made Ancelotti back down. After passing through the changing rooms, the Madrid coach sent Rodrygo onto the field. Barça, then, dominated the game and the score: 0-2. But Xavi not only had a plan to reinforce the right wing. On the left, he mixed Araujo — ”He comes from a three-month absence, he is playing a lot of minutes. You have to be careful with him”, said Alegre – with Dembélé. The Uruguayan was placed as a winger in the rear instead of Koundé. Ángel Di María had stunned the same duo in the World Cup final in Qatar and Xavi did not want to suffer with Vinicius. And while Araujo dried the Brazilian, Madrid couldn’t find a way to stop Gavi. Neither with Valverde as a false winger, nor with the Uruguayan in the midfield.
The omnipresence of the visible and young Gavi was supported, in any case, by the omnipresence of the invisible and veteran Busquets. Badia’s pivot, who played his 45th match against Madrid in Arabia and reached Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos at the top of the table as the footballers with the most presences in the classic, was key along with De Jong to balance Barcelona . He also was to hit the Barça game. Busquets stole the ball that ended in Gavi’s first goal and accelerated the action that ended in Gavi’s assist for Lewandowski at 0-2.
Xavi did not surprise anyone with Busquets —the coach insists and insists on protecting his former teammate—, yes, on the other hand, he did it with the position of Gavi, the absolute protagonist for the coach to win his first title on the Barça bench. “A magnificent team led by a great coach like Xavi. It is a special title because it is the first of this new era. I am convinced that Xavi will give the club titles again”, stated the president, Joan Laporta. It is the first Barça trophy in the 21st century without the participation of Messi. The last time the showcases had been opened without the Rosario player had been the 1998-1999 League. “We knew that it was an opportunity that we had to take, we have lived through a time of changes in the club and in the dressing room and this will strengthen us to continue fighting for more titles”, Busquets closed.
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