Pedri will only be promoted compared to Andres Iniesta, said Barcelona manager Xavi. Blaugrana great Xavi referenced his former team-mate Iniesta while lauding Pedri in midweek.
Pedri has been compared to Iniesta because of his soft footing and good passing ability, but Xavi did not hold back from enjoying the youth talent following his impressive performance in Barca’s 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao last week.
“The way [Pedri] understands the game, it’s nice to see him play,” Xavi told reporters after the game. “It reminds me so much of Andres Iniesta, I have never seen so many such talents.”
Barca’s next trip was to Elche on Sunday, and Xavi was pressed for his comments on Pedri at the pre-match news conference.
While he regrets any criticism he has received since he made such comparisons, he believes that there are valid reasons.
“It happened to me that I compared him to Iniesta,” said Xavi.
“He reminds me of him, he keeps reminding me of him, I do not think differently. [But] I am saddened by the criticism.”
Iniesta has won nine LaLiga and Barca titles and has been a key figure, along with Xavi, in three-time winning streams in 2009 and 2015.
The midfielder has also won the Champions League four times and has been the European Champions twice with Spain. Apart from talking about his goal-scoring goal in the 2010 World Cup final, Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0.
Xavi, however, does not believe that Pedri is afraid of being compared to one of today’s heroes.
“Iniesta is the greatest talent I have ever seen in the history of Spanish football, I have never seen,” added Xavi.
“This will encourage Pedri. I’m not afraid either. He’s a normal man.”