game, goals and a talisman for Barcelona


When Pedro stepped on the grass Camp Nou In the match against Atlético after two months out, the stadium received him with a standing ovation. The Canarian midfielder is one of the great hopes that Barcelona has to think that he can recover the potential that he has lost in recent seasons. “He has things from Andrés [Iniesta]”, says Xavi. And that is big words in the Barcelona club. But it is that the numbers, in addition, give him the reason. In the last two campaigns, Barcelona has only been defeated in one league game when Pedri has been on the field: last October at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The lesions

The problem is that he has also missed many games. The last course could only have been in twelve days, which resulted in ten victories and two draws and which coincided with the best moment of the Barcelona fans, when between January, February, March and April they accumulated fifteen league games without losing (ten with the canary plus another five still without him), but the party ended when he was injured again: the end of the Barcelona season was a disaster. With Pedri in the “hospital” there were seven defeats in the League, three of them with koeman, who needed two training sessions to know what he was doing and give him stripes; and four with Xavi, who came to the bench in November 2021, but could not count on Pedri until January 2022 (he was injured again in April). This time Barcelona has managed to survive without the midfielder, but it is true that in recent games he was showing signs of wear. The return of “8” is as if the light had been turned on. “He is a nurturer of balls and offensive play,” says Xavi. Against Atlético, Pedri’s presence was still not so noticeable, that he entered the field in the second half when the match was already crazy, plunged into a round trip. He made 21 of the 23 passes he attempted and was fouled twice in half an hour. More important was the return of Dejong, who played almost the entire match and was one of the best. «Without detracting from others, it is evidence that they are differential and capital footballers. They improve what comes to them. They understand our game model and that’s why they are so crucial. I have the feeling of more peace of mind when the ball reaches Pedri or Frenkie”, acknowledged Xavi.

To the evident contribution of Pedri in the creation of the game is added his increasingly better relationship with the goal, something that his coach has always insisted on. He has six in the championship and none has been a filler: four of Barça’s ten 1-0 wins in this League were thanks to a goal from Pedri (Celta and Getafe at the Camp Nou and Girona and Villarreal as a visitor). Another was the 1-1 in Pamplona (the azulgranas were with 10 for the red to Lewandowski and they ended up winning with a target from Raphinha) and another one was the second in the 4-0 win against Valladolid. It is clear that it is a luxury “reinforcement” for Barça to close the League. “I really wanted to return, where I enjoy the most is on the field and I am very happy, especially for the victory,” Pedri told the club’s official media after beating Atlético. Later, he narrated how he spends watching so many games from the stands: «From the outside it is worse, you can’t do anything, pray for the goals to come in; inside you can leave your skin ».



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