BERLIN: Influential Barcelona and Spain midfielder Gavi is feared to have have suffered a severe knee injury which could sideline him for months and may even keep him out of Euro 2024, reported German news agency (dpa).
Gavi, 19, was tackled 20 minutes into Spain’s Euro 2024 qualifier with Georgia in Valladolid by Georgia player Luka Lochoshvili. He continued but limped off in tears three minutes later after trying to control a ball.
Sports daily AS said first examinations revealed a ruptured cruciate knee ligament. There was no official diagnosis, and Barcelona said late Sunday results would come “in due course” after further examinations.
The incident shocked the team and Ferran Torres held up a Gavi shirt after scoring in the 3-1 victory for already qualified Spain.
“This might be the most bitter, upsetting moment of my career,“ Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said post-match.
“This is a very tough and very difficult moment. For the Federation, for me, for his friends. But above all for him and for his club. We’re ‘destroyed’. Football is a risk sport and this is the ‘ugly’ part of our sport.
“We talked to Gavi. Initially he thought it was just a bump. The first tackle probably wasn’t where the damage was. It was when he was trying to walk it off that he felt the pain.”
Torres spoke of a “bittersweet” victory “because of Gavi’s injury. I send him love and strength. Right now none of us know the extent of the injury but knowing what a warrior Gavi is I must say it looked pretty bad”.
Despite his young age Torres already has 27 Spain caps and more than 100 Barca games, underlining his importance for club and country. –Bernama