Barcelona midfielder Gavi is set to miss Euro 2024 after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament tear in Spain’s 3-1 win over Georgia on Sunday.
Gavi was forced off midway through the first half when he twisted his knee awkwardly while controlling a bouncing ball, moments after an unrelated collision with Georgia’s Luka Lochoshvili.
The 19-year-old was able to limp off with help from Spain’s medical team, but fears that his injury was a serious one were heightened when Ferran Torres celebrated scoring Spain’s second goal by lifting up a shirt bearing the name of his Barca team-mate.
Reports subsequently claimed Gavi had sustained a serious ACL injury, and Barca confirmed that was the case after conducting tests on the teenager on Monday.
In a statement, the Blaugrana said Gavi had suffered a complete tear of the ACL in his right knee as well as an an associated injury to the lateral meniscus, and would undergo surgery in the coming days.
Speaking after Sunday’s win, which confirmed Spain as Group A winners ahead of Scotland, La Roja’s head coach Luis de la Fuente said: “It feels like we lost.
“It’s one of the most bittersweet victories I’ve ever had. As far as I can remember, it’s the hardest, the bitterest of moments, to see an important player like Gavi sustain an injury like that.
“He was hurt, sad. Sometimes we feel indestructible but it’s not like that. Life has these bad moments and, when the good moments come, we don’t value them properly either.”
🗣️ Luis de la Fuente: “Gavi no comprendía que estas cosas le podían pasar a él. Nadie piensa que le puede pasar una desgracia así”
— Selección Española Masculina de Fútbol (@SEFutbol) November 19, 2023
It has already been reported that Barca are furious with Spain’s decision to field Gavi in back-to-back games against Cyprus and Georgia after confirming their place at next year’s tournament last month.
De la Fuente, however, believes the injury was simply unfortunate, saying: “It’s a very difficult moment for the player, for his club, for the RFEF, for the national team and for all his team-mates.
“This is the ugly side of football. Football is a risky activity occasionally, something we often forget to appreciate.
“It was an unfortunate incident, but Gavi was perfectly fit to play the game and it was just unlucky… really, really unlucky.”
Gavi has only missed two of Barca’s games this season, both of them through suspension, assuming a key role with fellow midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both spending periods on the sidelines.
Pedri returned prior to the international break after two months out, while De Jong could make his comeback when Barca resume their LaLiga campaign against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
Barca are expected to provide a further update on Gavi’s condition after he undergoes surgery, but it now appears extremely unlikely that he will feature again in 2023-24.