Spain call up 17-year-old Barcelona wonderkid Gavi after just six senior appearances at club level

Gavi Barcelona 2021-22Getty

Spain coach Luis Enrique has named his squad for the Nations League finals, with Barcelona wonderkid Gavi getting a potentially historic senior call-up at just 17 years of age.

He is not the only exciting youngster to get the nod, with 18-year-old Villarreal winger Yeremi Pino also being selected for the first time.

La Roja will be hoping that an intriguing blend of youth and experience puts them in the mix for another major honour, with continental silverware up for grabs in early October.

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Spain squad in full

Goalkeepers: Unai Simon, Robert Sanchez, David De Gea

Defenders: Azpilicueta, Pedro Porro, Eric Garcia, Laporte, Inigo Martínez, Pau Torres, Reguilon, Marcos Alonso

Midfielders: Busquets, Rodri, Pedri, Mikel Merino, Koke, Gavi

Forwards: Ferran Torres, Sarabia, Oyarzabal, Fornals, Marcos Llorente, Yeremi Pino

Why the excitement around Gavi?

The inclusion of Gavi – who is looking to follow in the illustrious footsteps of fellow La Masia academy graduates Xavi and Andres Iniesta at Camp Nou - has caused quite a stir as he is still finding his feet as a senior star.

He has made just six appearances for Barcelona to date, with his competitive debut on August 29. He has been promoted directly from La Roja’s U16 side into the first-team fold.

If he is to play in the Nations League finals, then he will become the youngest player to represent Spain. Pablo Zubieta, who earned two caps in 1936, currently holds that record, while Gavi’s club colleague Ansu Fati sits second on the list as the only other men to make their bows at the age of 17.

When will Spain be in action?

Gavi will be pushing for a place in Enrique’s plans for the Nations League semi-final clash with Italy. Spain are due to face the Euro 2020 winners on Wednesday, with that contest taking place at San Siro in Milan.

The victors in that contest will face either Belgium or France in the final, while the losers will play off for third place.

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