Spain's Gavi becomes youngest goalscorer in a World Cup since Pele

Gavi (left) and Pele. Photos: FIFA

When Gavi scored the fifth of Spain's 7 goals against Costa Rica in their Group E opener of the Qatar World Cup on Wednesday evening, he entered the history books.

At 18 years and 110 days, the Barcelona player became the youngest to score in a FIFA World Cup since Pele in 1958. The legendary Brazilian was aged 17 and 249 days when he started his World Cup goal-scoring journey.

Pedri's goal was a thing of beauty. Substitute Alvaro Morata had dragged Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas wide before lifting a ball back into the box.

Gavi had anticipated the pull back and made a timely run and he hit the ball sweetly with the outside of his foot to finish elegantly. Coincidentally, the great Pele's 1958 goal, which was in the quaterfinals against Wales, had also been scored with the outside of his right boot.

Gavi was the latest of the sensational Barcelona trio comprising Ansu Fati and Pedri to join the Spanish national team in the last two years. In fact, he was the last of that batch to enter the Spanish senior set-up.

Fati was the first to break into the senior national team, when he debuted in 2020 at 17, breaking a record from 1925 held by Juan Errazquien. Pedri soon followed and became a key member of the La Roja.

Pedri won the Golden Boy trophy in Euro 2021, given to the best player in U-21 category. Gavi's turn hadn't arrived until November 2021, just two months after he turned 17, when he broke Fati's record.

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