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Influential Barcelona and Spain midfielder Gavi has suffered a severe knee injury in a Euro 2024 qualifier against Georgia which is expected to sideline him for the rest of the season and possibly for the Euro finals as well.

Barcelona confirmed on Monday that Gavi suffered a “complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and an associated injury to the lateral meniscus.

“The player will have surgery in the coming days after which a new medical update will be released,” the club statement added.

Injuries of this nature normally take six to eight months to heal before a return to action. The domestic season runs until late May 2024 and the Euros in Germany start on June 14. Gavi, 19, was tackled 20 minutes into Sunday’s game in Valladolid by Georgia player Luka Lochoshvili. He continued but limped off in tears three minutes later after trying to control a ball.

The incident shocked the team and Ferran Torres held up a Gavi shirt after scoring in the 3-1 victory for already qualified Spain.

“This might be the most bitter, upsetting moment of my career,” Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said post-match.

“This is a very tough and very difficult moment. For the Federation, for me, for his friends. But above all for him and for his club.

We’re ‘destroyed’. Football is a risk sport and this is the ‘ugly’ part of our sport.

“We talked to Gavi. Initially he thought it was just a bump. The first tackle probably wasn’t where the damage was. It was when he was trying to walk it off that he felt the pain.” Torres spoke of a “bittersweet” victory “because of Gavi’s injury. I send him love and strength. Right now none of us know the extent of the injury but knowing what a warrior Gavi is I must say it looked pretty bad.” Despite his young age Torres already has 27 Spain caps and 111 Barca games, underlining his importance for club and country. He won the Golden Boy award in 2022.

“We are with you, Gavi,” the club said on X, formerly Twitter. “Be strong, Gavi.”

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