Messi still shocks Pedri with skills in Barcelona training

By Sports Desk April 07, 2021

Barcelona rising star Pedri admits he is still shocked by some of the things Lionel Messi can do in training.

Midfielder Pedri has established himself as a key component of Ronald Koeman's plans during his first season at Camp Nou following his move from Las Palmas.

The 18-year-old has played 43 times in all competitions, more than any other Barca player in 2020-21, scoring three goals and providing six assists.

Pedri has created 50 goalscoring chances in those games, a tally bettered by just four team-mates, with Messi a remarkable 31 clear at the top on 101.

Messi has been directly involved in 40 goals this term, the fourth-best tally among players in Europe's top-five leagues, but his best form has come since the turn of the year: the Argentina star has either scored (18) or assisted (eight) a goal in each of his past 14 LaLiga games.

That form has helped Barca to enjoy an 18-game unbeaten run in the league, the longest such current streak in Europe's top-five leagues, standing them in good stead ahead of Sunday's Clasico.

For Pedri, simply training alongside the Barca captain is still an experience to savour.

"I've said lots of times, when I was young, I supported Barca, and I dreamt of doing what I am doing now," he said, courtesy of LaLiga World.

"I just try and forget that I'm playing alongside Leo, or [Sergio] Busquets, or any of the other incredible players in this team. I just try and forget about all that and imagine I'm playing in the playground back home. That really helps me to enjoy myself more.

"It's really unbelievable but although you've seen Leo Messi on the telly and live in action he still knocks you out with what he does in training sessions. I enjoy every day with him and I try to learn as much as I can from him."

Barca lost the reverse fixture 3-1 at home to Real Madrid but, as LaLiga's form team, they head into the contest in the capital as possible favourites as they bid to catch league leaders Atletico Madrid.

"I think it's super important because of what it means to the fans," Pedri said of the game. "The supporters really love this game and I used to love watching it, too. Now I'm a footballer I'm really looking forward to it, just as I did the first time around.

"It's a crucial game as far as LaLiga's concerned and we've got to do our best to take all three points, that's important for us and the fans. I think like all the Clasicos, it's going to be a tough game. They're a very good team and we've got to play very well if we want the three points. But we're all well prepared and focused and we know what we're up against.

"We never give up as far as the league title's concerned. As always, we're going to battle until the end and I think if we keep on taking the three points, we're going to be right up there at the end of the season."

Related items

  • Real Madrid captain Ramos tests positive for coronavirus Real Madrid captain Ramos tests positive for coronavirus

    Sergio Ramos has tested positive for coronavirus, Real Madrid have confirmed.

    Ramos, 35, has been dogged by injuries in 2020-21, with several absences restricting him to just 15 LaLiga appearances this season.

    His streak of bad luck continued on Tuesday as Madrid revealed the experienced centre-back is now isolating having contracted COVID-19.

    The club have not revealed any further details relating to whether he is symptomatic or for how long he will have to stay away from the training ground.

    However, as long as it is an isolated infection, this news will not directly impact Zinedine Zidane's selections as Ramos was already due to be out of action until the end of the month with a calf injury sustained on international duty in March.

    Nevertheless, even without him Madrid have managed to pull themselves back into a title challenge, with Saturday's 2-1 Clasico win moving them up to second and just a point behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

    Madrid will hope Ramos can return for the final weeks of the season and help secure the title again in what could be his final campaign at the club, with his contract expiring in June.

    Los Blancos are also doing well in the Champions League, as they go to Liverpool for their quarter-final second leg 3-1 up from last week's first meeting.

  • Florentino Perez re-elected Real Madrid president for fifth successive term Florentino Perez re-elected Real Madrid president for fifth successive term

    Florentino Perez has been re-elected as Real Madrid president for a fifth successive term after running unopposed.

    Perez, 74, called on the club's electoral board to set in motion the process of deciding a president and board of directors last week.

    Madrid have not carried out a full election since 2006, when the incumbent Perez lost out to Ramon Calderon, but he resigned three years later.

    Perez returned for a second stint then as the only candidate to stand and has been in place ever since.

    It briefly appeared as though Perez could have a rival in businessman Enrique Riquelme, having suggested an intention to run.

    However, a Madrid statement released on Tuesday confirmed Perez was the only declared candidate and he retains his position.

    "On April 13, 2021 in Madrid, at 00:01 hours, at the headquarters of the Real Madrid Club de Futbol electoral board, the individuals listed at the beginning met to discuss and decide on the matters listed below," the statement read.

    "Given the existing health situation resulting from COVID-19, the president [of the electoral board], Mr. Jose Manuel de Carlos Grau, has decided that the members of the electoral board who so wish may participate telematically.

    "Having presented no more than one candidacy declared by this electoral board and by virtue of article 40, section E, point 2 of the current by-laws of the club, Mr Florentino Perez Rodriguez is declared president of Real Madrid and the board of directors of Real Madrid."

  • Rumour Has It: European giants Real Madrid, PSG and Inter circle for Lingard Rumour Has It: European giants Real Madrid, PSG and Inter circle for Lingard

    Jesse Lingard has been in blistering form during his six-month loan spell at West Ham.

    As a result, speculation is rife over the 28-year-old England international's future.

    Lingard is contracted with parent club Manchester United for one more season.

     

    TOP STORY - EUROPEAN GIANTS CIRCLE FOR LINGARD

    European powerhouse clubs Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Inter are all interested in Lingard, claims ESPN.

    Lingard has scored eight goals in nine games for the Hammers, who are surprisingly sitting fourth in the Premier League.

    ESPN reports those clubs are monitoring Lingard's situation, with West Ham keen to sign him permanently and the player yet to declare a preference, although it is believed he wants to play  Champions League football.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Serbia international Sergei Milinkovic-Savic has garnered interest from European giants Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The midfielder is contracted with Lazio until 2024.

    - Manchester United may have missed out on Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho last off-season but they are set to revive their interest, says the Manchester Evening News.

    - Calciomercato reports that French winger Ousmane Dembele is open to joining Juventus from Barcelona in the next transfer window.

    - Tottenham are making their move to sign off-contract Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, reports Sky Germany.

    - Arsenal have joined the race to sign Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard, alongside Leicester City, according to the Telegraph.

    - Tuttosport says Torino's Italy international forward Andrea Belotti is being courted by Chelsea, Everton, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid.

    - Fiorentina want to hire Gennaro Gattuso from Napoli as their next coach, claims Sky Sport Italia. Gattuso is out of contract at Napoli at the end of the season.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.