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Xavi: Barcelona star Pedri reminds me of Iniesta, I haven't seen many talents like him

11:00 am AEDT 28/2/22
Barcelona Pedri Xavi
The Spain starlet has been compared to a Barca great after yet another sparkling performance

Barcelona boss Xavi has heaped praise on youngster Pedri, saying the starlet reminds him of his former team-mate and Barca great Andres Iniesta.

The 19-year-old midfielder once again shone as Barca breezed past Athletic Club 4-0 at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The win ensured Barca climbed back into La Liga’s top four on goal difference ahead of Atletico Madrid.

What did Xavi say about Pedri?

Speaking after the game Xavi singled out Pedri for special praise, and there is not much higher comparison than with Barca legend Iniesta.

The former Spain midfielder won 30 major honours with the Catalan giants, the majority of which were alongside Xavi in the heart of the midfield, and will go down as one of the club’s greatest ever players.

"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,” said Xavi.

“He's wonderful. I haven't seen many talents like that.”

Xavi not ruling out late title charge

It was pretty much the perfect evening for Barcelona, who never looked like losing the game once Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang volleyed them in front in the first half for his fifth goal in three matches.

The second half was all about the substitutes, with three players who came off the bench combining for all three goals

First, Ousmane Dembele fired into the roof of the net from a tight angle for his first La Liga goal in nine months.

The French forward, who is out of contract at the end of the season, then turned provider, crossing first for Luuk de Jong to flick a header into the corner before Memphis Depay swept home from close range in stoppage time.

“I expected it because the team is getting better and better, they are training very, very well,” said Xavi.

"The opponent is an excellent team. I think we played a serious game. The feeling is very good and that is what we are working on. I am very happy.

"Obviously players with goals have joined - Aubameyang, Adama [Traore]. We have Dembele back. Memphis is coming back from injury and scores. Luuk comes back and scores. Scoring four against Athletic is not easy at all."

Asked whether he felt Barca could launch a late title charge, Xavi added: "At the moment we are not ruling anything out, knowing that Madrid is strong.

"We have to climb positions. We are still fourth and we have to go to third. A quiet week is coming to prepare for the match against Elche"

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