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La Masia retains Kopa honors | Barcelona’s Gavi wins 2022 Kopa Trophy

The 18-year-old Spain and Barcelona starlet became a key figure at the Camp Nou last season and remains a key cog for Xavi during the current campaign

Barcelona remains the proud owner of the best U21 player in the world after Gavi claimed the 2022 Kopa Trophy as the 18-year-old Spanish international beat out an impressive list of talent to claim the prestigious honor.

Awarded by FranceFootball and presented this year by two-time former winner Ronaldo, this is just the fourth installment of the award which first was established in 2018 and named after iconic former French international midfielder Raymond Kopa.

With Kylian Mbappé (2018), Matthijs de Ligt (2019), and clubmate Pedri (2021) the former winners, Gavi’s achievements for the calendar year have not gone unnoticed after finishing ahead of Real Madrid rival Eduardo Camavinga, Bayern Munich’s German wunderkind Jamal Musiala, Borussia Dortmund’s English starlet Jude Bellingham, and Paris Saint-Germain’s Portuguese talent Nuno Mendes.

Gavi only recently turned 18 just this past August and had cemented his place as a key cog in the Barcelona wheel under Xavi after making 47 appearances across all competitions last season for the Catalonian outfit while bagging 2 goals and 6 assists in La Liga last term.

His influence has continued both at club and international level and has been a key reason why Frenkie de Jong remains on the periphery at Spotify Camp Nou while also recently earning his 12th national team cap under Luis Enrique.

Having already featured nine times for Barcelona in the league this season as well as in all four of the club’s Champions League fixtures, his influence despite his age is undeniable despite many undoubtedly feeling the likes of Musiala and Bellingham may well feel aggrieved.

To his credit, however, Gavi’s age surely was the tipping point given that the majority of his appearances and growing influence at Barcelona came last season as just a 17-year-old. A justifiable winner indeed.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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