In a significant setback for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, young midfield prodigy Gavi has been diagnosed with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The 19-year-old Barcelona star, a key figure in the club's recent successes, faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines following a damaging incident during international duty.
Gavi's injury occurred during Spain's Euro 2024 qualifying match against Georgia in Valladolid, where he had to leave the field in distress just 26 minutes into the game. The incident, which saw Gavi in tears after an awkward landing while attempting to control the ball, has been confirmed as a torn ACL with an associated injury to the lateral meniscus. Barcelona, in an official statement, announced that the midfielder is scheduled for surgery on his right knee, with further updates on his recovery timeline expected in the coming days.
Since debuting for Barcelona's first team at 17 in August 2021, Gavi has emerged as a dynamic presence in the midfield, contributing significantly to Barcelona's La Liga and Spanish Super Cup triumphs last season. In his relatively short career at the senior level, Gavi has already racked up 111 appearances for Barcelona, scoring seven goals and providing 12 assists.
Spain manager De La Fuente: “In the dressing room, it feels like we lost”.
“We're destroyed, Gavi’s injury is serious and it’s hard moment for all of us”.
“It was an accident and a misfortune, but Gavi was perfectly fit to play, like everyone else”. pic.twitter.com/edOduwijYT — Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 20, 2023
This injury casts a shadow over Gavi's prospects for the remainder of the 2023-24 season, with concerns also extending to his participation in Euro 2024 and the Paris Olympics. The young star's contract with Barcelona, extending through 2026 and including a staggering £876 million release clause, underscores his critical role at the club.
The injury's impact was palpable beyond Barcelona, with Spain's national team coach Luis de la Fuente describing the 3-1 victory over Georgia as the "most bitter victory I have experienced in my life". Acknowledging the severity of the situation, de la Fuente expressed the collective distress of the team and management, stating, "In the dressing room, it feels like we lost. We're destroyed."
Spanish forward Ferran Torres, who scored in the match and celebrated by holding up Gavi's shirt, echoed the sentiments of concern and support for his injured teammate. "An important victory to end on a good note, but we leave with a bittersweet feeling," Torres remarked.
Spain's national team, having already secured their spot in the upcoming European Championships, topped Group A with 21 points from eight matches. Nonetheless, the triumph was overshadowed by the unfortunate injury to one of their brightest young talents. As Gavi embarks on his road to recovery, both Barcelona and Spain will keenly feel his absence in their upcoming campaigns.