Barcelona Teen Hints He’s Taking Over Iconic No. 8 Shirt

Dani Alves

Getty Dani Alves currently wears the No. 8 shirt at Barcelona.

Barcelona’s 19-year-old midfielder Pedri has enjoyed another hugely impressive season with the Catalans and has now hinted he could be about to take over the iconic No. 8 shirt for the 2022-23 campaign.

Pedri currently wears the No. 16 but could be set for a change. The teenager has launched a new website with the domain name “pedrigonzalez8.es” which suggests he could be the club’s next No. 8, as shown by journalist Gerard Romero.

The shirt number is, of course, currently worn by Dani Alves. The 39-year-old Brazilian is facing something of an uncertain future, as his contract expires at the end of the season, but has previously said he would be happy to give the number to Pedri.

“I read in an interview that he said he liked the number 8 and I spoke to the people at the club, that next season if he wants it he can take it, if I stay, of course,” he told Mundo Deportivo. “If I leave, he can take it straight away. If he wants it, it’s his, but there is only one mission, we have to defend it well, because this shirt has been worn by great people, very special people, especially for me, like Iniesta or Hristo… they are people who have done a lot for this club. The numbers have to be defended and respected as they should be, they have a history behind them, for those who have honoured this club.”

Pedri is not expected to play again this season after picking up a hamstring injury in the Europa League quarter-final defeat to Bundesliga side. Eintracht Frankfurt.

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Barca’s New No. 8?

The Barcelona midfielder has made no secret of the fact the likes the No. 8 shirt mainly because it was worn by his idol Andres Iniesta. Pedri was handed the No. 10 while on international duty with Spain and explained whey he hadn’t been able to have his preferred choice, as reported by AS.

“I’ve always liked the number 8, but Koke has it here [Spanish national team] and you have to respect the player who has been here the longest,” he said. “10 is a very nice number but regardless of the number on my back, I try to enjoy myself on the pitch and be myself.”

The No. 8 shirt has also been worn previously by Bulgarian legend Hristo Stoichkov and more recently by midfielders such as Arthur and Miralem Pjanic.


Xavi Compares Pedri To Iniesta

Barcelona coach Xavi has already made it clear he seems plenty of similarities between Pedri and Iniesta. The coach spoke about the teenager after he played a starring role in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Athletic back in February.

“Aside from the nutmeg, which is a small detail, it’s how he understands the game, goes between the lines and goes behind the midfield pivots. He reminds me a lot of Andrés Iniesta,” he said. “If we’re talking about pure talent, Pedri is the best in the world. He is a wonderful player. I haven’t seen many talents like him.”

Pedri has emerged as one of the brightest talents in European football despite only turning 19 in November. The comparisons with Iniesta are obvious and mean he would be a fitting choice to take over the No. 8 shirt at the Camp Nou.

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