Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was full of praise for midfield prodigy Pedri after his goalscoring display against Galatasaray in the UEFA Europa League.
Speaking to the media after Barcelona’s victory over Galatasaray (h/t Barca Universal), manager Xavi Hernandez has sung praises of midfielder Pedri, who was integral to the outcome of the game.
Barcelona booked their place in the Last Eight of the UEFA Europa League when they defeated Galatasaray 2-1 in Istanbul on Thursday night. It was not as straightforward a win as the Catalans would have liked as they initially trailed on the night with Marcao scoring for the home team.
However, Pedri equalised for Barcelona with a stunning goal that reminded fans of a certain Lionel Messi before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rounded off the victory with his seventh strike in seven games in all competitions for the Blaugrana.
In the aftermath of the game, Xavi, who has previously compared Pedri to his former teammate and Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, was full of praise for the 19-year-old. The club icon claimed that it was an honour for him to coach the young midfield sensation.
Can't get over this goal what a finish pedri 👑 pic.twitter.com/YK0LmEnwHD
— skinner (@Leo_Messile) March 18, 2022
“Pedri’s goal was great. He is capable of doing this and much more. He’s just 19! I’m honoured to coach Pedri! He can do all that and more. I cannot praise him enough,” Xavi said.
“Pedri has been very important, he is a sublime player of spectacular beauty, capable of making a difference, of generating plays. The pause in the goal, in the opposite field…He is different,” he further added.
When asked if Pedri’s strike reminded him of goals scored by his ex-teammate Messi, Xavi replied, “I don’t like these comparisons, we just have to congratulate him because he is doing it well.”
Pedri missed a good chunk of the first half of the ongoing campaign with an injury. But since returning to full fitness earlier this year, the Spanish international has been in sublime form. He has featured in 17 games across all competitions this term, scoring three goals and registering an assist. He will have a crucial role to play for Barcelona if they wish to go all the way in the Europa League this season.