Xavi: Gavi and Pedri better at 20 than Xavi and Iniesta

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Gavi and Pedri have been compared to Barcelona’s iconic midfield duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who delivered four Champions League titles.

Barcelona coach Xavi says midfield duo Gavi and Pedri are better than he and fellow Blaugrana legend Andres Iniesta were at 20 years of age.

Gavi and Pedri each started all four of Spain’s games at the World Cup in Qatar and have also taken on key roles for LaLiga leaders Barca since Xavi’s arrival last year.

The duo’s incisive passing and telepathic rapport has attracted comparisons to Xavi’s own partnership with Iniesta, with the pair enjoying remarkable success at both club and international level.

However, speaking to Barca’s media outlets on Tuesday, Xavi said the Blaugrana’s current midfield duo have developed faster than their illustrious predecessors.

“Me at 20 and Andres at 20 were not at the level of Pedri or Gavi,” said Xavi. “The way Gavi competes, the passion he puts in… we weren’t at his level.

“We have very young players. Eric [Garcia], Pedri, Ansu [Fati], Gavi… Frenkie [de Jong] is young. We have Barca for the present and for the future.”

Xavi admitted the demands on some of Barca’s young players may be too much, adding: “Gavi has played practically everything. Ansu is a talent but maybe we are asking too much of them.”

Barca are two points clear of rivals Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga, having won 12 of 14 games this season after investing heavily in the transfer window.

The Catalan giants put together big moves for the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha in the off-season, but Xavi is not expecting a repeat in January.

“I told [director of football] Mateo [Alemany] not to play too much, that I’m happy with the family, it’s a fantastic group,” Xavi said. “We don’t know if we’ll be able to integrate new players.

“I think we can be competitive. I’m happy with the leaders, we train at 100 percent and it shows on the pitch. If we don’t touch anything, I’ll be very happy.”

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