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"We are seeing a player who is amazing" - Barcelona's Dani Alves heaps praise on 19-year-old star

Enter caption Enter caption Dani Alves hails his young teammate after the midfielder starred in emphatic 4-0 Athletic Club win
Enter caption Enter caption Dani Alves hails his young teammate after the midfielder starred in emphatic 4-0 Athletic Club win
Caleb Kay

Barcelona veteran right-back Dani Alves has heaped high praise on the club's 19-year-old rising star Pedri as mentioned on Football Espana. The young midfielder was at his best again in the 4-0 win against Athletic Bilbao and has been touted to be one of the best in his position in the world.

The La Roja international started alongside compatriots Sergio Busquets and Gavi at the base of the midfield and controlled proceedings from the opening whistle. He had 93% pass accuracy including completing eight accurate long balls. He also created one chance and successfully completed eight out of his 10 duels.

Pedri stats vs Athletic Bilbao.⏱ 90 mins👌 107 touches🎯 86/92 accurate passes (92%)🔑 1 key passes☄️ 8/8 accurate long balls🤤 3/3 successful dribbles ✅ 5/7 ground duels won🤕 2 fouls suffered what a youngster! https://t.co/hvn3pDkBf2

The highlight of his well-rounded performance, however, came in the second half. He pulled off an audacious backheel nutmeg on the by-line to turn and get away from Athletic Club's Mikel Balenziaga.

After the game, glowing tributes were showered on the 19-year-old midfielder for his skill and work ethic. Dani Alves hailed his young teammate, saying:

"Through luck, I have been with people of that level, but he is one who is most assimilated to those. I have had to luck to be able to live with them. We are seeing a player who is amazing. It’s incredible to play with them."

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez also praised Pedri, comparing him to former Camp Nou great Andreas Iniesta. Xavi enjoyed many successful years playing alongside Iniesta in what was the best midfield partnership in world football at the time. He said:

"It's how he understands the game, how he goes between the lines, how he goes behind the pivots. He reminds me a lot of Andres Iniesta. "He's wonderful. I haven't seen many talents like that."

The two former Spain internationals have each won over 25 major trophies for club and country and so coming from Xavi, there could be no better comparison. It remains to be seen if Pedri can match Iniesta's achievements for Barcelona and Spain.

Barcelona's Pedri - Football's future superstar?

FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa League
FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa League

Pedri is now regarded as one of the best players in his position and has amassed over 70 senior team appearances for club and country in almost two years. The diminutive midfielder pulled the strings from midfield last season for the Blaugrana as he made an astonishing 52 appearances across competitions.

He followed that up with an impressive run with the Spanish national team at Euro 2020 where La Roja reached the semi-finals. UEFA recorded his average passing accuracy in the six matches he played at 92.34% which incredible considering his age. He was awarded the 'Best Young Player of the Tournament'. He was also a part of the Spanish team that achieved silver at the 2021 Olympics.

Forget U20s, Pedri is the best player in his position bar none, but some of you aren’t ready for this conversation yet. https://t.co/nunbNVrQFI

He also recently won the prestigious Golden Boy award in 2021 for his exploits. The midfielder would be a real asset for any team but it's unlikely that he will be leaving the Nou Camp any time soon.

In October 2021, Barcelona tied Pedri down to a new contract that runs till 30 June 2026. They have also included €1 billion release clause in his contract to ward off interest from potential suitors.


Edited by Shardul Sant

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