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'It is crazy to compare me with Messi' - Barcelona star Pedri responds after stunning solo goal vs Galatasaray

10:10 pm AEDT 18/3/22
Lionel Messi Pedri Barcelona 2020-21
The Spaniard insisted his former team-mate has "scored much better goals" than his equaliser at Nef Stadyumu

Barcelona star Pedri labelled comparisons between himself and Lionel Messi "crazy" after his stunning solo goal against Galatasaray.

Pedri's 37th-minute strike cancelled out Marcos' opener in the second leg of Barca's round of 16 Europa League tie with the Turkish giants on Thursday night.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed the visitors' comeback shortly after half-time to seal a 2-1 aggregate victory, and Pedri played down his contribution after the final whistle.

What's been said?

Similarities were drawn between the Spanish midfielder and Barca legend Messi on social media after his eye-catching effort against Galatasaray.

Pedri doesn't wish to be mentioned in the same bracket as his former team-mate, though, and says his latest goal was instinctive.

"No way! Messi has scored much better goals. It is crazy to compare me with Messi," he told reporters when quizzed on the comparisons.

"I don't really remember the goal, though, so I will have to watch it back. I remember Ferran [Torres] gave me the ball, I feinted [inside] because I saw a leg coming and again, I think, until I shot.

"Things just come to me on the pitch. I'm lucky in that I don't have to really think."

Pedri's modesty was not mirrored by Barca head coach Xavi, who added in his post-match press conference: "The goal is sublime. It's of real beauty, the pause in the build-up ... Pedri is capable of that and much more -- and he's still only 19. What a privilege. I can't praise him anymore."

Pedri's overall record in 2021-22

Pedri is now back to his best after a frustrating first half of 2021-22 that saw him struggle with a serious hamstring injury.

The 19-year-old, who also tested positive for coronavirus at the start of the year, has missed 24 games in total for Barca, but made his 17th appearance in all competitions against Galatasaray.

Pedri took his tally of goals to three this season with his memorable strike, and now has seven to his name from 69 outings in a Blaugrana shirt - 771 behind the club's all-time record scorer Messi, who is now plying his trade at Paris Saint-Germain.

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