Pablo Gabi, a key midfielder for the Spain national soccer team and FC Barcelona (Spain), suffered a serious injury to his right knee in an A match.
Gabi started the Euro 2024 qualifier against Georgia (3-1 Spain) at the José Sorolla Municipal Stadium in Valladolid, Spain, on Sept. 19 (local time) before leaving the field in the 26th minute.
Gabi was left on the ground with a pained face after his lower body collided with an opposing defender during a contest near the corner of the penalty box in the 20th minute.
He got back to his feet and continued to participate in the game, but three minutes later, while trying to catch a high ball in the air with his chest, he grabbed his right knee in pain again.
Gabi then limped off the field and headed to the locker room.
“Initial tests suggest that Gabi has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee,” said Spanish outlet As. “Further tests will be carried out, but it is likely that Gabi will be out for six to eight months.”
As reported, Gabi is effectively out for the season.
This is a huge loss for both the Spanish national team and Barcelona.
Spain must now prepare for Euro 2024, which begins next June, without Gabi. They will also be without him for the Paris 2024 Olympics in July.
Gabi, born in 2004, was the youngest player to make an appearance for Spain (17 years and 61 days) against Italy in 2021 and the youngest to score a goal (17 years and 304 days) against the Czech Republic in last year’s UEFA Nations League.
At last year’s World Cup in Qatar, he became the youngest World Cup goal scorer in 64 years after Brazil’s “football emperor” Pele (17 years, 239 days) when he scored in a group stage match against Costa Rica at the age of 18 years, 110 days.
Since the World Cup, he has established himself as a mainstay in the midfield, leading Spain’s attack.
His club, Barcelona, is also in need of a boost.
Gabi has played 12 regular season games and three UEFA Champions League (UCL) matches this season.
Across the league and UCL, he was a mainstay of the team, playing in all but two games due to suspension for accumulating cautions.
Sitting in third place in the league with nine wins, three draws, and one loss, Barcelona were looking to rebound after the A-match break, but they were dealt a blow with Gabi’s departure.
Barcelona’s rivals Real Madrid (Spain) also lost a key player to injury during the A-League and will be without him for some time.
Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior was forced to leave the field in the 27th minute of the 2-1 South American qualifier for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup in Colombia on Sunday after feeling pain in his thigh.
Real Madrid said on its official website that Vinicius was diagnosed with a torn left quadriceps muscle.
Local media reported that Vinicius is not expected to return this year.
Manchester United (England) goalkeeper Andre Onana also withdrew from Cameroon’s World Cup Africa qualifier against Mauritius on Sept. 18 (3-0 Cameroon) after complaining of pain in the 36th minute.
According to the Cameroon Football Association, the injury was confirmed in the pubic bone area and Onana was eventually withdrawn from the squad. 슬롯