Barcelona had a ball as they beat Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday with a score of 3-1.
Xavi, the new manager of Barca, finally got his hands on a trophy as his team of young stars look to establish themselves in the post-Lionel Messi era.
The fans were ecstatic as they watched their team effortlessly glide past their rivals in the one-sided final in Saudi Arabia.
The star of the show was none other than Gavi, who was named the world’s best young player at the Ballon d’Or awards last year.
Gavi not only scored the opener, but also assisted Robert Lewandowski and Pedri with their goals.
The 18-year-old’s skills on the ball and off-the-field movement left Madrid’s defense in the dust and fans are hopeful that this is just a taste of what’s to come for a club that has had a rough time financially in recent years.
Inspired by Gavi’s performance, the Catalans gave one of their best performances in years against their bitter rivals.
Xavi, who had great success as a player at Barca, returned in November 2021 and after a summer of heavy spending, this victory is a sure sign that his project is moving in the right direction.
Karim Benzema scored a late consolation for Madrid, who have been struggling since the World Cup break and also fell three points behind Barcelona in La Liga last weekend.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti suffered his first defeat in a final since 2014, with Los Blancos surrendering the trophy they earned last season to Barcelona, who have now won the Super Cup a record 14 times.
Xavi deployed four central midfielders, with Gavi drifting inside off a nominal starting position on the left and frequently giving Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal the slip.
Toni Kroos played as Madrid’s deepest midfielder with Aurelien Tchouameni out injured, and he was overrun by the energetic Pedri, ably supported by Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets.
Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was outstanding in his team’s semi-final victory over Valencia on Wednesday, made a brilliant early save to deny Lewandowski, tipping his low drive against the post and out. At the other end, Benzema headed narrowly off-target after finding space in the box to meet Ferland Mendy’s inviting cross.
Barcelona broke the deadlock when Busquets won the ball high up the pitch after a loose Antonio Rudiger pass, leading to Lewandowski feeding Gavi, who slotted home confidently with his left foot.
Pedri and Ousmane Dembele were also involved in an exchange of slick passes before Lewandowski teed up the 18-year-old, whose clever run went untracked.
Gavi turned provider for the second, running on to De Jong’s pass and sliding the ball across the face of goal for Lewandowski to finish clinically.
The Catalans’ dominance brought back memories of their 4-0 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last season, which had been the highlight of Xavi’s time at Barcelona until now.
Gavi, who won the Golden Boy award in 2022, was the game’s outstanding performer and showed Barcelona are in good hands both now and for years to come.
Madrid’s own young star Vinicius Junior was shackled by Ronald Araujo, the Uruguayan playing at right-back to directly subdue the Brazilian’s threat.
Barcelona have now won the Super Cup a record 14 times. Madrid have 12 to their name.
“We knew it was a chance we had to take, we have lived through an era of changes at the club and in the dressing room, and this will reinforce us to keep fighting for more titles,” said Barca captain Sergio Busquets.