Pedri already one of the world's best players, claims Barcelona team-mate Torres

By Sports Desk April 06, 2022

Pedri is among the best players in world football, so says his Barcelona club-mate Ferran Torres.

Barca midfielder Pedri is enjoying another fine season after his breakout campaign at Camp Nou in 2020-21.

Though the early part of his season was hindered by injury, Pedri has emerged as a crucial figure as Xavi has rejuvenated Barca since taking over from Ronald Koeman.

Having missed the final three months of 2021, Pedri's 2022 has been brilliant so far, and he scored an exquisite goal against Sevilla in a 1-0 LaLiga win on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Spain international also netted against Galatasaray to help Barca progress to the Europa League quarter-finals, with Eintracht Frankfurt next up.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's clash in Germany, Torres said that is a "luxury" to play alongside such a talent.

"It doesn't surprise us," Torres told a news conference when asked about Pedri's form.

"Seeing him every day is a luxury, he has great quality and how he's handling it, with humility."

Torres also spoke glowingly of coach Xavi, whose team are unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions and are now up to second in LaLiga.

"Xavi has transmitted his confidence to me from the first day. I'm in good shape and helping the team," the former Manchester City forward added.

Barca are facing Frankurt for the first time in their history. The Bundesliga club have never lost at home in major European competition in the quarter-finals and beyond (P16 W12 D4 L0) – this is the most such games any side has ever played in major European competition without being defeated.

And Torres insisted overconfidence will be no issue.

"The coach makes it clear to us that we have to go game by game because if you lose tomorrow, nobody remembers the dynamic. Humility, work and desire to achieve victory," he said.

"It is the first step to fight for that Europa League and we will do everything on our part to achieve it."

Related items

  • Pavlovic signs two-year contract extension with Bayern Pavlovic signs two-year contract extension with Bayern

    Aleksandar Pavlovic has signed a contract extension which will keep him at Bayern Munich until 2029.

    Pavlovic's current contract was due to run out in 2027, but the club have chosen to trigger a two-year extension.

    The 20-year-old enjoyed an impressive breakout campaign in 2023-24, in which he made 22 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals and providing two assists.

    Pavlovic joined Bayern as a seven-year-old and was handed his debut for the first team in November last year when he came off the bench to assist Harry Kane in a 4-0 victory.

    His club form earned him a call-up to Germany's squad for Euro 2024, but he was forced to withdraw after coming down with tonsillitis days before the opener against Scotland.

    "Unfortunately, this tonsillitis has denied me my dream of playing in the European Championship on home turf, which is very disappointing – but I'm thrilled that my contract with FC Bayern has been extended until 2029," Pavlovic said.

    "It shows the club has trust in me, which I'm eager to repay. FC Bayern is my home. I'm proud, happy and grateful, want to win trophies with the team and continue my personal development."

    Pavlovic made 19 appearances in the Bundesliga this season, winning 15 of those, with the team scoring 54 goals in the process.

    In the 15 games that the midfielder missed in the league, Bayern won just eight times, conceding 14 more goals.  

  • 'I would never abandon Brazil' – Ronaldinho backtracks on Copa America comments 'I would never abandon Brazil' – Ronaldinho backtracks on Copa America comments

    Ronaldinho has declared he will never "abandon" Brazil, rowing back on his previous claim that he will not support the Selecao at the upcoming Copa America.

    Brazil are gearing up for a tilt at a 10th South American title, with Colombia, Paraguay and Costa Rica awaiting Dorival Junior's team in Group D.

    Just 10 days prior to their opening game against Costa Rica in Los Angeles, Selecao great Ronaldinho said he has "had enough" with the team and would not watch any of their matches at the tournament.

    The 2002 World Cup winner said the current Brazil squad displayed a "lack of love for the shirt and lack of grit", adding: "I've never seen a situation as bad as this."

    However, Ronaldinho has now suggested those comments were simply reflecting the stance of many fans and were not his own feelings.

    In a video posted to his Instagram account, he said: "I would never abandon Brazilian football, ever. I'd never say those things you see… 

    "Actually, these words came from real Brazilian fans, they are real comments that I saw on the internet. 

    "Imagine listening to these messages before you play? Motivation goes down... fan support makes a huge difference to the players. I know what I'm talking about. 

    "What our boys need is support at this time. The more confidence we show, the more confidence they will have on the field."

  • Italy must be 'meaner' against Spain after nervy win over Albania – Spalletti Italy must be 'meaner' against Spain after nervy win over Albania – Spalletti

    Italy must be "meaner" when they face Spain in Thursday's heavyweight Group B clash after starting Euro 2024 with an unconvincing win over Albania, says Luciano Spalletti. 

    The Azzurri were stunned by the fastest goal in European Championship history on Saturday as Nedim Bajrami put them behind within just 23 seconds, but goals from Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella saw them rally for a 2-1 win.

    The defending champions enjoyed 68.3 per cent of the possession, created five big chances to Albania's two and recorded 34 touches in the penalty area to their opponents' seven. 

    However, they still had to survive a major scare at the death as Gianluigi Donnarumma turned Rey Manaj's attempted lob wide, clinching the three points.

    After seeing Group B rivals Spain thrash Croatia 3-0 earlier on Saturday, former Napoli boss Spalletti knows more will be needed from Italy next time out.

    "There are a number of things we still have to improve because we thought we were better than we were in too many situations," Spalletti told reporters.

    "We need to be meaner. We are neat and tidy in the way we build things up, we would free up a man, but then you need to go and hurt the opposition. 

    "We thought we were brilliant at just keeping possession. We need to move the ball a bit more quickly, because we did so badly on occasions tonight, but against Spain there will probably be chances to play the ball forward more.

    "Because they tend to be more aggressive in their bite and press, there might be greater scope to actually play in behind their defensive line."

    Italy have now won their opening game on each of their last three appearances at the Euros (also 2016 and 2020), having only done so twice in their first eight (five draws, one loss).

    They have also gone unbeaten through 10 games at the tournament for just the second time (seven wins, three draws), previously doing so in their first 10 between 1968 and 1988 (four wins, six draws), lifting the trophy in 1968.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.