Barcelona midfielders have been in the spotlight this season with teenagers Pedri and Gavi playing starring roles, Sergio Busquets taking over the club captaincy and Frenkie de Jong facing an uncertain future.
Pedri has been talking about life at Barcelona under club legend Xavi and opened up on exactly what the new manager wants from his midfielders.
“Xavi has a very clear idea, model: he is very clear about what each of us have to do: the inside midfielders have to be between the lines, the ball moved from one side to the other,” he explained.
“The things he did when he played – and it was spectacular watching him – he tries to inculcate in us. The interiores have to hold our position. If you get out of position, then when you lose the ball you can’t press the way you need to: you won’t get there. He also wants the interiores to turn, face the opposition goal.”
That’s not all Pedri had to say about Barcelona’s midfield. He also went into more detail as well as discussing captain Sergio Busquets’s role in the team
“He has to hold, attract, leave someone else one-on-one: we know he can face five, six and clean them out. You have to attract opponents, be able to go alone,” he added.
“It’s having confidence in yourself. You don’t have time to think but it’s trusting your ability, and you can tell when you don’t have that. It’s brave, too, to be physically strong, to take those risks; that’s not easy either. But it’s a different type of bravery. In the middle of the pitch, when the game’s at its worst, you have to have the confidence to ask for the ball and the trust to keep it.
“Recently, I think there’s been a turn towards the player who runs more than the player who is technical, who understands the game. Football is becoming more robotic but there are still those who break that rule. I still play to enjoy myself. I always do and that’s the best thing a footballer can do. If you’re enjoying it, you’re going to play much better.”
Source | The Guardian
Pedri missed the end of the 2021-22 campaign with a hamstring injury but looks in pretty good shape ahead of pre-season in a video he’s just posted on social media.
Barcelona will be hoping that Pedri can put his injury problems behind him in the new campaign. The teenager only made 12 La Liga appearances in 2021-22 but still did enough to be voted Barca’s MVP for the campaign by supporters.