Barcelona midfielder Gavi has become the youngest player ever to play for Spain at just 17 years and 62 days old. He stamped his authority on the pitch as Spain beat Italy by 2-1 to reach the Nations League final.
Praises have been pouring in for the teenager after his massive performance in the Spanish jersey.
Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport said: “He’s just a boy, born in 2004, but he plays like a proper footballer.”
“He welcomes physical contact and is always central to the play. He gave Verratti a lot of problems.”
Luis Enrique, the Spain head coach who handed him the debut said: “His job was to mark Verratti and he did more than that.”
“We’ve got to give him the normality he needs. It’s not typical that he can play like he does.”
“He plays with so much personality and in harmony with the team. He was fantastic and he is something exceptional.”
“He’s not only the future, but also the present.”
Italy head coach Roberto Mancini also praised the young starlet: “Gavi is a terrific player for just 17.”
“Spain develop incredible talents generation after generation. They are very lucky to have these sorts of players.”
The French daily said: “He was the one who set the tone by winning the ball back early on.”
“Against a midfield maestro like Verratti, Gavi showed his skill. He’s not afraid of anyone.”
Le Parisien continued: “Alongside the experienced Sergio Busquets and Koke, Gavi was composed and won his battle with Verratti.”
“He went off after 83 minutes having shown himself as a leader, not as a kid who was just a fan of the Spanish national team only three months ago.”