Gavi risks serious injury with 'fearless' head-first slide tackle, Carles Puyol even applauded it
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Barcelona midfielder Gavi risked a serious injury when he attempted to block a pass with a head-first slide tackle in their La Liga clash against Athletic Bilbao.
The 18-year-old Spaniard, known for his fearless and committed nature, has showcased his bravery on numerous occasions this season, putting his head where other players fear to put their leg.
And on Sunday night, he produced another daring challenge to try and stop Bilbao midfielder Dani Garcia from making a forward pass.
La Liga TV posted the footage on Twitter with the caption: "Gavi putting his literal head on the line for Barça."
Gavi putting his literal head on the line for Barça 😳 pic.twitter.com/nCnWOqk8tu— LaLigaTV (@LaLigaTV) March 12, 2023
Then, in the second-half at San Mames, the teenager put his head on the line again when he tried to beat striker Raul Garcia to the ball. Don't believe me? Here it is.
Gavi is taking “fighting for the badge” way too far now😭😭 pic.twitter.com/77g8PsRpeE— ™️ (@_yj144) March 12, 2023
This is how social media reacted to the head-first tackle.
One fan commented on the footage, saying: "The way Gavi is diving in head first for balls that are at foot height, it's almost like he's trying to get decapitated."
A second wrote: "Can Gavi stop diving forward with his head? Brave and all, sure, but it’s just not very wise," while a third said: "Safe to say Gavi is NOT scared to put his head where it hurts."
A fourth added: "Gavi needs to stop, this stuff isn’t funny and doesn’t make him look “passionate” and a “warrior”. He is risking getting serious damage done to his head, he needs to stop."
Carles Puyol, meanwhile, reacted to the challenge by posting a number of clapping emoji's on Twitter. I think it's fair to say one of Barcelona's greatest warriors was impressed.
Gavi 🙌🙌🙌— Carles Puyol (@Carles5puyol) March 12, 2023
Italy legend Franco Baresi once said Puyol would put his face where any other player would be scared to put his foot. He was probably right.
Take this footage from an old El Clasico, for example, when the former Barca and Spain captain sprinted back to the goal-line to head away a trademark blaster from Roberto Carlos.
Not many would have even dared to use their head in this situation but Puyol did not hesitate.
As you can see in the clip below, former Los Blancos forward Raul was denied by the goalkeeper twice, which allowed Puyol time to track back.
Much to the delight of teammate Ronaldinho, who hugged his captain moments later, Puyol denied great rivals Madrid with the most Carles Puyol save of all time.
Back in 2020, he posted the footage on Instagram alongside the caption: "Today I found this video. I had never seen the play from this perspective before. Roberto, you almost ripped my head off, my friend!"
Thoughts on Gavi's head-first slide tackle? Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: La Liga TV
Topics: Gavi, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, La Liga