Teenager Gavi has become the youngest goal scorer at the FIFA World Cup since Pele back in 1958 during Spain's routing of Costa Rica. The World Cup had seen two huge upsets in Qatar before Spain kicked-off - Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina and Japan defeating Germany - but La Roja proved they were not going to falter at the first hurdle.
Spain put on a masterclass with two teenagers - Gavi and Pedri - running the show to help put seven past Costa Rica. The seven-goal victory was not even flattering such was Spain's superiority, Costa Rica failing to manage either a shot or a corner.
"When things go your way like this, football becomes wonderful," Spanish coach Luis Enrique said. "We played exceptionally well with and without the ball."
And one of the biggest talking points was the performance of 18-year-old Barcelona prodigy Gavi. While Pedri was the breakout young star at the 2020 Euros, Gavi earned man-of-the-match honours against Costa Rica.
Gavi also became the youngest goal scorer (18 years, 110 days) since Pele (17 years, 294 days) in the 1958 FIFA World Cup. He also became Spain's youngest ever goal scorer.
The prodigy became the third youngest goal scorer in World Cup history behind Pele and Manuel Rosas.
It was the first time Spain had scored seven goals in a World Cup match, and was achieved with the first starting XI featuring two teenagers (18-year-old Gavi and 19-year-old Pedri) by any team since 1962.
Football fans were quick to praise the generational talent after Spain opened the World Cup with the most impressive performance so far of any team.
Pablo Gavi (18 years and 110 days) is the youngest player to score at a World Cup since Pelé (17 years and 249 days) in 1958 🌟💎 pic.twitter.com/yIGt4HYMY8
— 433 (@433) November 23, 2022
Gavi means history. He’s third youngest goalscorer in World Cup history with 18 years and 110 days following Pelé (!) and Manuel Rosas. ⭐️🇪🇸 #Qatar2022
He’s the youngest goalscorer in Spain history at World Cup.
Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy winner this year.
Born August 5, 2004. pic.twitter.com/SybJhqSosJ
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 23, 2022
The day we start to believe in youngsters is the day our football will grow!
Gavi (18 years old) - the youngest goalscorer in a World Cup match since Pelé in the 1958 final
He is Spain’s youngest-ever player to score at a World Cup!
Generational Talent 💯 (+Pedri 18 years) pic.twitter.com/k7SNcohOW1
— El Capitano⚪ (@_izodlalaiTv) November 23, 2022
Gavi's game by numbers vs Costa Rica:
8 final third entries
7 duels won
5 ball recoveries
5 fouls won
What. A. Talent. 💫 pic.twitter.com/RPi1Vgumnj
— Squawka (@Squawka) November 23, 2022
Spain make statement at FIFA World Cup
Despite having to rejig due to illness and injury Spain took command from the start, dominating possession and pulling so many holes in Costa Rica's cover the opening goal was no surprise.
Dani Olmo scored it in the 11th minute from a neat pass by Gavi, the forward turning smartly before lifting a shot over Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Ten minutes later Sergio Busquets, the only survivor from the winning 2010 team, swept a pass out to Jordi Alba. His cross was met by a Marco Asensio shot Paris SG and former Real Madrid keeper Navas should have kept out.
A further ten minutes on Oscar Duarte clipped the the heel of Alba and Ferran Torres made it 3-0 from the spot.
That was game over, a Spanish defence featuring Manchester City midfielder Rodri out of position having never been tested.
Torres scrambled a 54th-minute fourth from close range before Gavi volleyed a spectacular 75th-minute fifth from Alvaro Morata's cross.
As added time approached Soler drove in after Navas failed to hold Nico Williams' teasing cross. Then Morata played a one-two with Olmo before tucking in the seventh.
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