Barcelona midfielder Pedri was lucky to escape injury on international duty with Spain after being on the receiving end of a horror challenge in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Georgia on Sunday.
The 18-year-old made his first start for his country in the match but was floored late on by a brutal tackle from Levan Shengelia in injury time.
Unsurprisingly Shengelia was sent off for his challenge as Georgia ended the game with 10 men. The foul came after Spain had struck a winner in the 92nd minute through Dani Olmo to snatch all three points.
Georgia had looked set to pull off a memorable result after taking a shock lead just before half-time through Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. However, Ferran Torres equalized 10 minutes after the break before Olmo grabbed the winner. Barcelona defender Jordi Alba picked up assists for both goals.
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Praise For Pedri
There was plenty of praise for Pedri after the match after another impressive display from the Barcelona youngster. It’s the first time the midfielder has been called up to the national team and he seems to have taken to international football comfortably.
There was also one moment in particular that caught the eye as Pedri demonstrated his brilliant vision and passing ability with a pass team-mate Lionel Messi would have been proud of.
Spain boss Luis Enrique also offered his thoughts on the youngster after the game, as reported by Marca.
“Pedri, in the first half, was pretty much like the whole team and, in the second, he showed the kind of player that he is and the qualities that he has,” he said. “He was very good with Jordi Alba, with whom he has a good understanding.”
Pedri and Spain play again on Wednesday against Kosovo in World Cup qualifying. The midfielder will then return to his club side to begin preparations for their next La Liga clash against Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou on April 5.
Spain’s Eric Garcia Talks Barcelona Move
Barcelona trio Alba, Pedri, and Sergio Busquets all played in Sunday’s win, along with Manchester City defender Eric Garcia who is expected to return to the Camp Nou next season after his contract with the Premier League side ends.
Garcia spoke about his future after the match but insisted he does not know if he will return to the club where he started his career once the season ends, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
He explained, “I‘m focused on what concerns me, now with the national team there is a very important match against Kosovo coming up, and then what comes will come. I don’t know if it will be Barça.”
Garcia also insisted his team fully deserved all three points despite only snatching the victory deep into stoppage time. He added, “The team deserved it, against Greece we found a penalty that leveled the game for us and today we competed to the fullest. We deserve it for a spectacular attitude.”
It’s still expected that Garcia will be at Barcelona next season. City boss Pep Guardiola has already told reporters this season that “he is going to Barcelona.” Garcia will move on a free transfer and has reportedly already agreed personal terms on a five-year deal.