Spain secured a 3-1 triumph against Georgia in their last Euro 2024 qualifying Group A encounter on Sunday.
Despite being a bittersweet victory for the hosts, who had already clinched the top spot, the win was overshadowed by midfielder Gavi (19) suffering a knee injury.
Spain concluded the qualifying campaign with 21 points from seven wins in eight matches, their only loss coming against second-placed Scotland, who also qualified for the finals with 17 points after a 3-3 draw with Norway.
Georgia finished in fourth place with eight points, trailing behind Norway in third.
Cyprus ended up at the bottom of the group without securing any points.
For Spain coach Luis de la Fuente, it marked the most poignant victory of his career as Gavi, who plays for Barcelona, left the field in tears during the first half while clutching his injured knee.
“It is a very difficult moment for Gavi, Barcelona, and the national team and for me, it seems as if we have lost the game,” De la Fuente told a news conference.
“This is the ugly part of football. I am very sorry. Let’s wait for the tests to confirm the extent of the injury. This is the most bitter victory I have ever experienced in my life.”
Spain took an early lead in the fourth minute when Ferran Torres delivered a free kick from the left, finding Robin Le Normand’s head for his inaugural international goal.
However, Georgia swiftly equalized six minutes later through a rapid counterattack, culminating in a straightforward finish by forward Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
The joy of the moment was dampened for Spain as Gavi suffered an injury in a collision with an opponent.
“We can’t celebrate as we would have liked. Gavi’s injury is a hard blow, I’m really gutted,” said Le Normand. “It wasn’t my best game with the national team, there are things to improve”.
The hosts restored their lead 10 minutes into the second half with a header from Torres, who celebrated by holding up the number nine jersey of his Barca teammate Gavi.
Georgia’s Luka Lochoshvili put the ball in his own net in the 72nd minute to seal the Spaniards’ win.
“An important victory to end on a good note, but we leave with a bittersweet feeling because of Gavi’s injury,” said Torres.
“We don’t know the extent of the injury, but knowing how much of a warrior Gavi is, we think it could be serious.”