Xavi Praises Barcelona Duo: ‘A Leader’ & ‘A Technical Marvel’


Getty Xavi wants to keep Franck Kessie.

Barcelona coach Xavi has arrived in Qatar to take in some World Cup 2022 matches and has been full of praise for two of his young players in particular.

Midfield duo Pedri and Gavi have been praised by the Barcelona boss ahead of a crunch match between Spain and Germany. Spain opened up with a 7-0 win over Costa Rica, while Germany suffered a shock defeat to Japan.

Both players are expected to start against Germany after impressing against Costa Rica. Gavi was named MVP in the match and became Spain’s youngest ever World Cup goalscorer, while Pedri also put in a strong showing.

Xavi spoke to TV3 about both players and explained just why they are impressing for both club and country despite their youth and relative lack of top-level experience, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.

“Gavi is a leader, he puts quality wherever he goes, he is extraordinary, and Pedri is a marvel technically, they make a difference with us and also with the national team,” he said. “They are extraordinary players and they have everything to mark an era.”

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Germany Boss Praises Duo

Xavi is not the only coach to have been full of praise for the two Barcelona youngsters. Germany boss Hansi Flick told a press conference ahead of the Spain match that’s been impressed by both players and their performances for Barcelona.

“I appreciate Luis Enrique very much. He has formed a young team with incredible quality. Unfortunately, my favorite player Thiago is not there, so you can tell how much quality they have. Busquets is the heart of the team. We’re really looking forward to the game,” he said. The quality that Gavi and Pedri have at this young age is fantastic. They have developed very well in Barcelona in the last two years. And now they have found their regular spot in the national team. They have Busquets behind them as protection. That works well.”

Germany will need to improve to get anything from Spain and have not enjoyed recent meetings with La Roja. Indeed Luis Enrique’s side ran out 6-0 winners the last time the two sides met back in 2020.

Gavi ‘Can Define An Era’

Meanwhile, Luis Enrique feels that Gavi can “define an era” after starring and scoring on his World Cup debut, as reported by ESPN. The midfielder only turned 18 in August but already looks the complete package.

“The most surprising thing for everyone is that someone, at 18 years and 100 days old, has that amount of self-confidence,” he added. “You have to look at the intelligence he has in his positioning, how he dominates the technical aspects of football, and his physical capacity despite being 18. We have to stay calm, he’s 18, but he can define an era.”

Victory for Spain over Germany will boost optimism that Luis Enrique’s side can go all the way in Qatar and would also severely dent Die Mannschaft’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.

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