Gavi announced himself on the global stage with a brilliant volley as Spain produced a sparkling passing performance to outclass Costa Rica and start their World Cup in sensational style.
Ferran Torres scored twice in what was a stroll from start to finish for the 2010 champions.
But the pick of their seven goals was Gavi’s outstanding volleyed finish, with the Barcelona teenager using the outside of his foot to steer a dropping ball home via the post and become the youngest World Cup goalscorer since Pele.
This has been a tournament full of surprises, with Spain’s Group E rivals Germany the latest victims with their late defeat by Japan earlier on Wednesday, but there was never a hint of another shock happening here.
La Roja were completely dominant from the start, with Costa Rica unable to live with their pace, movement and precision when they came forward.
The Euro 2020 semi-finalists went close twice in the first 10 minutes, with Dani Olmo and Marco Asensio both firing wide, but they did not have to wait long to take the lead.
Olmo had work to do to when he met Gavi’s delicate chipped pass into the area, but he used his strength to hold off Oscar Duarte then span into space to expertly slot past the onrushing Keylor Navas.
It was an ominous start for Costa Rica and things quickly got worse for the 2014 quarter-finalists, who were the last team to qualify for Qatar.
Again Spain advanced up the middle of the pitch unopposed, before the ball was spread left to Jordi Alba and his driven cross was met powerfully by Asensio – although Navas should have done far better with his attempted save.