Pedro González López

Pedro González López
Pedro González López

Although yet to reach the heights of his predecessors in the Barcelona and Spanish midfield, all signs point towards Pedri being the rightful heir apparent to Xavi and Andres Iniesta at the Nou Camp for several years to come.

published 10:17, 10 October 2022

Pedro González López (2019 - N/A- Active Player )

His emergence for both club and country over the past 18 months has seen many experts labelling Pedri as the next great Spanish playmaker. This wise head on young shoulders has seen him already become one of the finest playmaking midfielders in the game.

The new Xavi, Iniesta or Messi?

Part of Pedri’s mastery lies in his versatility. After starting on the island of Gran Canaria as a winger for UD Las Palmas, Pedri quickly moved inside at the Nou Camp to operate in a free role, akin to a false nine or trequarista, working elusively between the lines to find space and create havoc.

Indeed, Pedri has operated more recently with distinction as a genuine number 8, in the style of Iniesta, and even at the base of the midfield in a deep-lying playmaking role.

When stationed out wide on either flank, Pedri can come inside or drive towards the by-line on the outside. However, when starting from a deeper position, he can use his excellent dribbling skills to carry the ball through the midfield lines, committing opposition players and using his extraordinary vision to pick out killer passes.

His strengths as a playmaker come from his ability to work effectively in tight spaces and use his crystal-clean technique to control the ball. Meanwhile, his awareness of space and where teammates and the opposition are, means that he rarely wastes possession.

Since breaking into the Barca side, he has gained comparisons with Xavi, Iniesta and Lionel Messi, displaying similar attributes to each of those outstanding playmakers.

International Breakthrough

In March 2021, Pedri received his first call-up for the full Spanish national squad and made his debut in a World Cup qualifying tie against Greece.

Such was his impact that Pedri was not only named in the Spain squad for the European Championships of 2021, but he cemented himself as a critical man in the Spanish midfield. After starting Spain’s opening group match against Sweden, Pedri played all but one minute of Spain’s six games in their run to the semi-finals, where they lost on penalties to Italy.

In that semi-final, Pedri’s control of the football was highlighted by his metronomic pass completion rate of 98.5%, eventually completing 65 of his 66 attempted passes in a highly impressive performance.

Pedri’s overall contribution to Spain’s relative success was acknowledged as he was named UEFA’s Young Player of the Tournament and the only Spanish player named in the Team of the Tournament.

Following that success, Pedri represented Spain at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and once again shone as Spain won the silver medal.

Honours

Pedri’s emergence as a genuinely top-class midfield playmaker has come at a time of turbulence at Barcelona. As the club battles huge debts, internal political wrangling and player disenchantment, Pedri has serenely become a key influence at the Spanish giants.

He was a key figure in their run to winning the 2021 Copa del Rey, which was the first significant honour of his career so far. 

Individually, Pedri won the 2021 Golden Boy award and was named in the 2021-22 La Liga Team of the Season, despite missing much of the season to injury.