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Is Pedri the new Iniesta? Original Barcelona icon reacts to ‘noise’ of unhelpful comparisons

9:42 pm AEDT 1/11/22
Andres Iniesta Pedri
Pedri has been billed as the ‘new Andres Iniesta’ at Barcelona for some time, but the original midfield maestro considers such talk to be “noise”.
  • Blaugrana icon left Camp Nou in 2018
  • Teenage talent snapped up in 2020
  • Both have pulled the strings in Catalunya

WHAT HAPPENED? The Blaugrana moved to add another talented playmaker to their ranks when buying into Pedri’s potential back in 2020. They have seen the Golden Boy-winning 19-year-old thrive at Camp Nou, as he closes in on 100 appearances for the club, and obvious comparisons have been made with a World Cup winner of the past.

WHAT THEY SAID: Barca legend Iniesta has told AS when asked if Pedri is his heir apparent in Catalunya: “It will not affect or condition him at all. Pedri enjoys playing football and he doesn’t care about the Bernabeu or his town square. That shows and that’s why I don’t think it influences him. Comparisons are not pleasant because they are just noise. I have my story and he has to do his own and he has enough potential to be a benchmark in his team and in the national team.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pedri committed to a new contract with Barcelona in October 2021, with that deal – which is due to run through to the summer of 2026 - including a €1 billion (£861m/$993m) release clause.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR PEDRI? Domestic matters remain the focus for Pedri and Co for now, as Barcelona look to bounce back from dropped points in La Liga and elimination from the Champions League, but the World Cup finals in Qatar are also fast approaching and attention will soon start to drift towards international competition.