From the beach to Barcelona – Pedri’s laid-back style has captivated Spain

The teenage Canary Islander is living up to Andrés Iniesta comparisons on the field and raising environmental awareness“If we’re talking pure talent, he’s the best in the world,” Xavi Hernández said. Luis Enrique called him “incredible, just unique”, declaring that no one had ever done what he had. And Julen Lopetegui, his predecessor as Spain coach, described him as “special, one of those that only comes along every so often”. As for Pedri himself, he just wants to play football, as he always did. “To enjoy myself, which is the best thing you can do,” he says, a simple line which defines him.When the Barcelona manager made his big statement, there was a suggestion he had gone too far, so he “apologised” – by saying it again. Xavi had said Pedri reminded him of Andrés Iniesta – “the greatest talent I’ve ever seen” – which sounded like sacrilege but no one knows Iniesta better and nor was Xavi alone. Luis Enrique was the player tasked with welcoming Iniesta to the Barcelona first team; now Spain coach, he too drew the comparison after Pedri had graced the Euros aged 18, claiming: “No one’s ever seen that, not from even ‘Sir’ Andrés Iniesta.”

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