Barcelona’s Pablo Gavi has been named the winner of the Kopa Trophy 2022 at the Ballon d’Or ceremony. The trophy is presented to the best under-21 player of a season, and the 18-year-old La Masia graduate has been adjudged the winner of this year because of his sensation performance for his club and country, Spain.

Gavi has been one of the most important players for both club and country in recent years. His anticipation, dribbling, and understanding of the game have already warranted comparisons with his compatriots and club legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta. He was one of the pillars of the Spanish squad that reached the semi-finals of the 2021 UEFA Nations League, which they ultimately lost to France.

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Current Barcelona manager, Xavi, was also all praises when talking about the promising teenager before the Champions League group stage game against Inter Milan earlier this season: “He’s grown a lot, very quickly. He’s still very young but he has a very mature way of playing, He doesn’t lose the ball so much, he gives us an intensity that’s marvellous. The way he recovers the ball, creates pressure, that he covers players like Busi when he pushes forward. He’s only 18 and he’s just marvellous for us.”

Even Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest player to put on the Blaugrana shirt, said, “I still watch Barcelona whenever I can. Very good and key players have recently appeared, like Gavi.”

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The Ballon d’or ceremony is currently ongoing in France, and Spanish teams Real Madrid and Barcelona are proving to be the biggest winners. Besides Gavi, Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas has won the Ballon d’Or Feminin for the second successive time. Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois took home the prestigious Yeshine Trophy while Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski was declared the winner of the 2022 Gerd Muller Trophy, which has been given out for the first time this year.