Sunday was a bitter-sweet day for the Spanish national team as their 3-1 victory over Georgia in their final Euro 2024 qualifier won them the group but came at the cost of one of their most talented players.
That person is Gavi, the highly-rated Barcelona teenager who was forced off the pitch with a serious injury to his right knee. This occurred in the first half, with the Roja ace twisting it in an awkward attempt to control the ball.
Speaking after the game, Spanish national team head coach Luis de la Fuente admitted that it was a worrisome issue. The initial diagnosis was a torn ACL, and with the midfielder returning to Barcelona on crutches that same night for tests, the Spanish giants have now confirmed this to be true.
"Tests carried out on Monday morning on the first team player Gavi have shown that he has a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and an associated injury to the lateral meniscus. The player will have surgery in the coming days after which a new medical update will be released," the official statement read.
This is a gutting update for two reasons. Not only will Gavi miss the rest of the season but the midfielder is unlikely to recover in time for Euro 2024 as he looks to be out for seven to nine months.
De La Fuente made an honest admission after the final whistle, revealing that the dressing room was heartbroken despite winning their Euro 2024 group and adding that Gavi was in tears following this gutting injury.
"The dressing room is like a funeral parlor," De la Fuente said. "It was an accident, it could have happened to anyone."
This latest update has raised concerns over the protection of Spain's young talents. The likes of Pedri and Gavi have played several minutes since breaking into the first team, with club and country sharing the blame. Pedri has struggled with fitness lately while his countryman has suffered a complete ACL tear that will likely keep him sidelined until the 2024/25 pre-season.
Gavi is also set to miss the 2024 Summer Oympics, which he was eligible to take part in, though it is uncertain whether he would have been called up immediately after Euro 2024 similar to what happened to Pedri in 2021. Barcelona have thrown their support behind the midfielder and will closely monitor his recovery.