David Villa: Gavi is an ‘incredible’ young player with bright future | Football
Spain’s 2010 World Cup winner on the current side’s teenage talent Gavi, ageless midfield general Sergio Busquets and how he rates the chances of Luis Enrique’s class of 2022 in Qatar.
Who do you think are the strongest team here and who do you see lifting the trophy in Doha?
I go for Spain and I hope for Spain, but there are many teams that are playing well. England are strong, Brazil are playing well, Portugal, France, even Argentina after losing the first game are still a great team. But I hope it will be Spain.
Gavi impressed in the opening 7-0 win over Costa Rica. Could the teenage Barcelona midfielder be the best young player in the world?
He can be. There are many good young players in the world like [England’s Jude] Bellingham and others like [Jamal] Musiala with Germany, he is amazing too.
Gavi is 18, it’s incredible the way he is playing, not just now but for the last year with Spain and Barcelona at this age. His future is bright. I don’t know what will happen with this player but he will go far and have an amazing career because it is very difficult to show the things he is doing.
You played with Sergio Busquets in the World Cup final 12 years ago. Boss Luis Enrique wants him to stay on until the 2026 tournament, when he will be 38. Can he do it?
I don’t know because four years in football is almost a life! Four days in football is a lot, believe me, so four years… I believe Busquets is the best player playing in this position for all time, for me. He has shown at this World Cup that he continues to be important for the national team, he continues to be for the world of football but four years is a lot.
How does this Spanish team rate alongside the 2010 champions?
For me, it would be a mistake to compare all the time. They are good players, talented players, they are great, they have a great team but if all the time we try to compare with 2010 it’s a mistake. We need to believe in these guys and think they can do it too.
You finished joint-top scorer in South Africa but Thomas Muller won the Golden Boot by virtue of more assists – who’s your tip for it this time?
I hope it will be a Spain player because it probably means the team arrive to the final but we will see. With the strikers there, you never know.
Was winning that final the greatest day of your life?
We won the final of the World Cup and that final whistle is the best moment in my career.
And what about the rumours Lionel Messi could leave PSG to play in the MLS, a league that you played in yourself with New York City?
I don’t know, Messi is a player who can play wherever he wants, he has talent to play everywhere. It has to be his decision.
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