Pedri featured in all four games for Spain at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, impressing onlookers with his inch-perfect passes, work rate, and vision. The Barcelona midfielder did not score or assist in Qatar but was at the heart of every positive passage of play by Spain.
On his Twitch channel, Enrique was asked to name the players who surprised him the most at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Enrique revealed that many Moroccan players caught him off-guard, but it was his former team’s architect who impressed him the most.
“The player who has surprised me the most in the World Cup? Several from Morocco, but the one who surprised me the most is Pedri. He's like Harry Potter... He does magic. He's insane, I don't know how to explain it. He surprised me but at the same time he didn't.”
Spain, who started their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with a stunning 7-0 win over Costa Rica, endured a disappointing Round-of-16 exit at Morocco’s hands. With the game goalless at the end of extra time, a nerve-wracking penalty shootout commenced to determine the winner of the game.
Pablo Sarabia hit the post while Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets saw their penalties saved by Yassine Bounou in the shootout, leading to a 3-0 win for the Atlas Lions. Enrique stepped down from his role as head coach in the aftermath of the defeat.
Raphael Varane declares that France will not underestimate Morocco in 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finals
After knocking Spain out in the last 16, Morocco proceeded to beat Portugal 1-0 in the quarter-finals, becoming the first-ever African team to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals. Defending champions France, who got the better of England 2-1 in the last eight, are well aware of the threat Morocco possess and will not take them lightly.
Speaking before Wednesday’s (December 14) semi-final against the Atlas Lions, French centre-back Raphael Varane said:
“We have enough experience in the team to not fall into that trap [overconfidence].
“We know Morocco are not here by chance. It is up to us experienced players to make sure everyone is prepared for another battle.”
With Argentina taking on Croatia in the first semi-final on December 13, France and Morocco will already know which team they will face if they qualify for the final. The 2022 FIFA World Cup final will be played at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Sunday, December 18.