Highlights Of Pedri's Performance Against Athletic Club Prove He's A Special Talent
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Barcelona continued their upward curve under Xavi in recent weeks, and Pedri was at the forefront of everything good they did on Sunday night.
It had been a pretty tough start for Xavi back at the Nou Camp, defeats to Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao saw them knocked out of the Supercopa and Copa del Rey, respectively, and they were struggling in the battle to finish in the top four in La Liga.
However recent weeks, and the January signings, have seen the team start to turn things around and on Sunday they beat Bilbao 4-0 in the league.
It was their fourth win in the past five games in La Liga, since losing to Athletic in the cup, and it was the performance of Pedri that left fans purring.
The midfielder, who at the beginning of the season looked knackered after playing in the Euros and the Olympics, was back to his best, which is a scary level for a 19-year-old, and his personal highlights reel shows how he pulled the strings.
Forget U20s, Pedri is the best player in his position bar none, but some of you aren’t ready for this conversation yet.— 𝓱. (@pedriesque) February 27, 2022
I love Gavi and Nico but Pedri is on another level entirely. This guy doesn’t have the potential to be world-class; he already is. He plays with the audacity of someone who doesn’t believe he has limits and the serenity of someone who’s simply enjoying himself. An amazing player.— Alan Feehely (@azulfeehely) February 27, 2022
Impressive how Xavi has brought back the best from Dest and Frenkie, as well as elevating Pedri’s game to a whole new level. That’s what great managers do. pic.twitter.com/CEfqDT4u6L— La Senyera (@LaSenyera) February 27, 2022
Pedri is the Iniesta regen straight up. So smooth, calm, and confident. No flashy shit, just a superior understanding and control of space and touch as soft as a baby’s behind. pic.twitter.com/TstzPW1u1h— permaGrin 🇮🇱 (@theBauhaus) February 27, 2022
Noone:— saw.rub (@saw_rub__) February 27, 2022
Pedri at 19 years of age: pic.twitter.com/EhSgkR5nl5
Pedri vs Athletic Club— Football Talent Scout - Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) February 27, 2022
93% pass accuracy
1 key pass
8/8 accurate long balls
3/3 successful dribbles
2 tackles won
8/10 duels won
Maestro. He makes football look so easy. 19 years of age... 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/curxrzq2qE
Not often can you say this about a player this young, but Pedri is an actual footballing genius. This kid's brain operates 5 seconds ahead of everyone else. He is a veteran stuck in a 19 year old's body.— sm (@TacticoModerno) February 27, 2022
📸 | The praise Pedri gets just isn't enough; this kid is INSANE!— ☔🎃 (@RealKabeloTladi) February 27, 2022
He plays as if he's been doing this for years at the highest level, and he makes it look easy! He's truly something else💎 #FCBarcelona #BarcaAthletic pic.twitter.com/ifp5GwPHS9
It wasn't just the fans praising the former Las Palmas player, and comparing him Andres Iniesta, with his manager even joining in with the comparison.
"He reminds me a lot of Andrés Iniesta," Xavi said of the youngster to reporters after the game, high praise indeed considering Iniesta was his midfield partner for so long.
"If we’re talking about pure talent, Pedri is the best in the world.
"He is a wonderful player. I haven’t seen many talents like him."
As well as Pedri, it was a good night all round for Barca, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued his excellent form since moving from Arsenal at the beginning of the month to open the scoring, ending any doubt Xavi might have previously had.
Ousmane Dembele, who looked to be leaving the club in January, added the second, before the much maligned Luuk de Jong made it 3-0 in the 90th minute and Memphis Depay added the icing on the cake in injury time.
The win means the Catalan giants remain in fourth in the league, but are now just one point behind Real Betis in third, after they lost the Seville derby to Sevilla on Sunday.