ROTTERDAM - Gavi of Spain during the UEFA Nations League final match between Croatia and Spain at Feyenoord Stadion de Kuip on June 18, 2023 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Cut Gavi open and he bleeds Barca – as his Nations League war with Luka Modric shows

At just 18 years old, Gavi really does have the whole world at his feet. Bloody good at football, the golden boy of Barcelona’s young, new-look midfield, obscenely talented and blessed with an annoyingly spectacular quiff.

What makes him that bit better, though, is that behind that Golden Retriever look is a Rottweiler. And not just any Rottweiler; one with a Master’s degree in hating on Real Madrid.

Mastering the art of sh*thousery is quite a task in itself in football. Some can, some can’t, but even those that can have to fully learn and appreciate the craft of the dark arts. It’s in Gavi’s bloodstream, though, which you can very clearly tell when watching him.

When he’s not bursting from box-to-box, threading together attacks and playing fancy passes, he’s being an absolute bastard wherever he needs to be.

Usually that rears its head for its beloved Barcelona, but he’s going international with his sh*thousery talents now, and after helping Spain to win the Nations League, he’s got a trophy to show for his efforts.

Luka Modric was on the receiving end of a rather physical challenge from Gavi during the Nations League final, where the Spaniard seemed to want everything but the ball, almost like he’d sniffed out the blood of the Real Madrid player on the opposite side.

Did the little bastard want a clear and fair tackle? Nah, no chance. Saw Modric and let the Blaugrana inside his heart consume him.

‘Got the ball, ref’. Aye, sure you did Gavi.

Absolutely nowhere near it, and you just know he isn’t arsed. You’ve got to respect it, though. Not only for the sh*thousery, but for Gavi’s desire to keep the light of El Clasico burning as bright as it possibly can.


Perhaps the most highly anticipated football fixture on the planet some 10 years ago, the mammoth clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid can these days leave a lot to be desired.

Not only is there a lack of quality compared to games of the past, but there’s a noticeable lack of needle. It needs some edge back, and Gavi is trying his best to provide it.

“Real Madrid can sign whoever they want, I absolutely don’t care. We have our own [players] and we will always go to [the] death [to win],” he exclaimed when recently quizzed about his rival club’s signing of fellow teenage midfield sensation Jude Bellingham.

With Gavi and Pedri locking it down in the middle of the park for Barca, though, and Real crafting the latest iteration of their own super midfield once again, we’re a couple of chaotic Gavi moments away from El Clasico becoming a seriously special occasion once again.

The game doesn’t need Messi and Ronaldo stealing the headlines to grab our attention. And while it might’ve felt like that in the years since they left, we’ve merely been in a period of waiting for the next bunch of names to emerge. Step up or step aside.

Much like when WWE ushered in the ruthless aggression era, Gavi has taken the bull by the horns and burst into the very top level absolutely up to his eyes in the stuff.

Remember when we compared him to a Rottweiler? Yeah, scratch that. He’s a Pitbull.

A devilishly handsome, technically slick, but easily charged Pitbull merely waiting to clench his teeth into just about anyone who dares stand in his way wearing the white of Los Merengues.

Tribalism ain’t dead yet. Romance and rivalry will be alive and kicking for as long as Gavi is ratting his way around a football pitch.

By Mitchell Wilks

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