Barcelona boss Xavi claims Pedri is ‘at the same level’ of legendary midfielder Andres Iniesta
Barcelona boss Xavi claims Pedri is “on the same level” as legendary midfielder Andrés Iniesta after the youngster’s starring role in their win over Real Betis and says he has seen “very few players” like him.
- Pedri put in a great performance for Barcelona in their 2-1 win over Real Betis
- His boss Xavi compared him to Andrés Iniesta and says he is ‘at the same level’
- Xavi insisted Pedri still has a long way to go but has ‘a similar talent’ to Iniesta.
Barcelona manager Xavi believes the young midfielder Pedri is ‘at the level of Andres Iniesta’ after his starring role in a 2-1 win over Real Betis on Wednesday night.
Pedri was integral for Barca as they edged rival Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga by eight points, continuing his excellent form after scoring the winner against Girona last time out.
Xavi was keen to keep the 20-year-old’s feet on the ground but couldn’t resist comparisons to club legend Iniesta, saying he shared the same qualities as the man he played alongside for 13 years.
“He is a player who is on another level, I have seen very few like him”, said Xavi. He has talent, he is at Iniesta’s level, but Andrés had continuity to the point that he continues to play.
“If we compare Pedri with Iniesta right now, Iniesta wins easily because he played for so long. For me he is the greatest talent that Spanish football has produced. But Pedri is very good, he has a similar talent.
Barcelona midfielder Pedri (L) is ‘at the same level’ as Andres Iniesta (R), boss Xavi claims
Xavi (L) played alongside Iniesta for 13 years to produce an incredible midfield partnership.
Xavi and Iniesta formed an incredible midfield partnership for Barcelona during a trophy-packed period that saw them win 25 trophies together.
The 2-1 win at Betis means they have collected 50 points out of a possible 57 and conceded just seven goals in the process. Those are the numbers of a title-winning team and the coach said: ‘We were excellent tonight; it was a very good performance.
“We could have finished it earlier when Ansu Fati had the opportunity to head and then we conceded to make it more difficult for ourselves, but we got the result.
‘I am satisfied not only with the result, but also with the way we played. It has been better than the weekend against Girona and I am very satisfied.
Pedri had a great performance for Barcelona as they beat Real Betis to move eight points ahead
‘We dominated and were calm with the ball. We looked to outnumber them in certain parts of the pitch and there were some brilliant performances.’
The Barça coach was so satisfied with the performance that he made no changes before the 80th minute. “Nobody deserved to go out,” he said. “The attitude and the desire are there to succeed this season.”
Real Madrid now go into Thursday’s match needing to win against Valencia to reduce the gap at the top back to five points.
Xavi said that his players performed so well that no one deserved to leave. Pictured: Robert Lewandowski scoring Barcelona’s second goal of the night
Good night for Robert Lewandowski, who returned with a goal from his three-game suspension, and for Alejandro Balde, who set up the first goal.
“Balde is one of three fantastic left-backs we have and it’s fantastic to see him play so well as young as he is,” Xavi said of the 19-year-old defender.
Raphinha converted her cross, adding: “The wins we’re getting are the result of the hard work we’re putting in. We know we have to take advantage of our opportunities and we did tonight.”