Barcelona manager Xavi has hailed Pedri as the biggest prospect in football after the Catalans defeated Valencia 4-1 in La Liga on Sunday.
Speaking to the press after Barcelona’s emphatic 4-1 win over Valencia (h/t MARCA), Xavi Hernandez has lavished praise on midfield prodigy Pedri, claiming that there are no bigger prospects than the Spaniard in football currently.
Pedri joined Barcelona from Las Palmas back in 2019 and spent a year on loan with the lower league outfit before arriving at Camp Nou in 2020. The midfielder immediately broke into the first team under then-manager Ronald Koeman despite being 17 years old at the time and quickly became a mainstay in the middle of the park.
Such was Pedri’s swift rise to prominence that he soon made his way into the Spanish national team and starred for La Roja in the UEFA Euro 2020 last year, where he was named the Best Young Player of the Tournament. The midfielder also represented Spain at the Tokyo Olympic Games, helping them to a silver medal – all this after he had made over 50 appearances for Barcelona in his debut season.
Pedri had a disappointing start to the new season as he was sidelined with an injury for most of the first half. Having returned to action recently, the 19-year-old has been in full swing, playing a key role in Barcelona’s push for a top-four finish.
Xavi: “There is no bigger talent in the world than Pedri. He's superb. The way he turns, his timing… it’s simply fantastic”. ⭐️ #FCB
“He's great. Perhaps he's the best player in his position at 19 years old, I’m sure”. pic.twitter.com/bMcviPQ25L
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 20, 2022
On Sunday, it was the same case as he came on for Frenkie de Jong in the 60th minute against Valencia and looked in top shape. The midfielder also found the back of the net with a stunning strike from outside the box. But the goal was awarded to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang due to the slightest deflection off the striker’s back.
Nevertheless, Pedri’s cameo was an impactful one, and manager Xavi Hernandez could not stop singing the youngster’s praises after the game. “He gives us a break, he doesn’t lose the ball, he’s two-footed… he’s superlative,” Xavi said. “What he does, how he turns, the tempo… it’s fantastic. He’s top level, and he’s only 19 years old.”
“He’s spectacular, and there’s no bigger prospect in the world than him. We have to pamper him. He makes the difference in the game, in the area… he wins the ball back. It’s wonderful to have him. He comes on for half an hour and is transcendent. He’s not a normal player. There are few others like him.”
Pedri has played just 11 games this season in all competitions but has contributed with two goals and an assist already. The 19-year-old is a superlative talent with a very high ceiling and can go places in the years to come.