Xavi: Pedri already one of the world's best in his position

By Sports Desk January 28, 2023

Pedri is already one of the best players in the world in his position, according to Barcelona boss Xavi.

The 20-year-old midfielder marked his 100th appearance for the club on Saturday with the only goal as Barca edged past Girona to claim an eighth win in nine LaLiga games.

The result moved Barca six points clear at the league summit, although Real Madrid can reduce the deficit back to three when they host third-placed Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Pedri has scored with 72.7 per cent of his shots on target (8/11) since Xavi was appointed – the highest ratio of anyone who has scored at least six goals in this period – and the Barca boss was full of praise for the Spain international. 

 

"He's already a big difference maker in games and if you also add assists and goals, we're talking about one of the best in the world in his position at just 20 years of age," he said.

"And he still has to do more in the last pass. But not only Pedri; also Gavi, [Frenkie] De Jong, [Sergio] Busquets, and [Franck] Kessie when he plays."

Barca were far from their fluid best against Girona, who have now failed to win any of their five LaLiga matches against the Blaugrana, and Xavi wants his players to be more daring in attacking situations.

"We still don't fully dare," he added. "We give the correct pass, but not the decisive pass. We have to shoot from outside the area, look for good balls, make a cross.

"Girona put pressure on us and they surprised us, but sometimes we need to get out of the box and generate more. 

"The first half-hour of the second half is what we want; the victory and the goal come thanks to high pressure.

"I am satisfied with the victory, but we must be self-critical and we must improve in attacking situations."

Pedri replaced the injured Ousmane Dembele in the 26th minute and Xavi confirmed the France international will be tested to determine the severity of the issue. 

"In a match like this it is even more important not to lose Dembele as he is the most important player in one-on-one situations and, of course, it upset our plans.

"They will test him and we will see, but he has noticed something and it seems that there is a quadriceps injury. It's a shame because he is an important player."

Barca are next in action on Wednesday when they visit Real Betis. 

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