Gavi's injury is the bitterest of pills to swallow for Barcelona
Barcelona have every right to be furious with the Spanish Federation and Luis de la Fuente over the Gavi situation. Their anger is completely justified.
Why on earth was he playing in a European Championship qualifier that meant absolutely nothing given that Spain were already going through as Group A leaders in any event?
We can learn a lot from De la Fuente’s words before the match was played:
“Gavi is hyperactive. He never wants to stop.” he said. “The good players never rest. They are good players precisely because of that, they can deal with the high rhythm of games. And Gavi is great physically.”
Whilst what he said is ostensibly true, that neglects the fact that Gavi is only 19 years of age and has already played over 100 times for Barca and made over a quarter of a century of appearances for La Roja.
Indeed, in the two years since he made his Barca debut, he’s therefore averaged over 60 games a season. That’s not sustainable for players in their mid twenties and approaching their peak let alone those who are still in their teens, however good they may be.
It’s incumbent on the likes of Xavi and De la Fuente to ensure that their squads have enough depth that situations such as that which we saw with Gavi - and we’ve seen in the past with Pedri - stop occurring.
There’s an inherent need to be a little more heavy handed for the good of the player, even if they’re more than happy to pull on the shirt.
Rest is as important as training and playing, and it seems that’s conveniently forgotten if it doesn’t suit.Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images
No matter how many matches UEFA want their member countries to play, and how many club games - including nonsensical one-off matches in America before Christmas just because it earns the club €5m - need to be ticked off the list each season, at some point, someone has to say ‘Enough’!
I’m sick and tired of seeing the best exponents in the world slogging their guts out week in and week out, just to make an extra few euros for their paymasters.
I don’t even think it matters who is to blame. Pointing fingers does no good whatsoever.
Gavi is ruined until at least next season and, might well find, just as Ansu has, that he won’t come back the same player.
Given just how physical Gavi’s natural game is, taking any element of his playing personality away will seriously hinder his growth, and yet he couldn’t be blamed for perhaps not being as aggressive in the tackle as he once was upon his return.
It’s a horrible injury that he’s suffered and it’s rocked Spanish football to its core.
If everyone can learn anything from this episode, it’s that certain players - Lamine Yamal being a prime example - are never put in such daft situations again.