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Atletico Madrid captain heaps praise on Barcelona midfield duos of the past and present

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of Spain’s UEFA Nations League fixture against the Czech Republic, midfielder Koke has heaped praise on Barcelona midfield duo Pedri and Gavi.

The Atletico Madrid captain, who has been a mainstay in the middle of the park for the Spanish national team for ages, has played with iconic Barça duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Now he is getting a chance to see the growth of the younger crop in Pedri and Gavi.

The former was Spain’s standout performer at the UEFA Euro 2020 last year and won the Young Player of the Tournament award. On the other hand, Gavi made his debut in the UEFA Nations League in October last year and has made huge strides in the national team since.

The 17-year-old impressed in La Roja’s 1-1 draw against Portugal earlier this week. And when asked about the quality and the potential of the La Masia graduate, Koke lavished praise on Gavi, as well as Pedri, while hailing the legendary partnership of Xavi and Iniesta.

“Playing with Xavi and Iniesta was a privilege for me and now I am to see the growth that Pedri and Gavi are having. They have a spectacular present and future. I really enjoy playing with them and wish to make the most of it,” Koke said (h/t MARCA).

While Gavi is shining for the national team, his contract situation at Barcelona is causing some nerves among the fans. His current deal runs out in 2023 and has a release clause of €50 million. Barça have tabled a fresh contract proposal, though, and hope to close the deal.

As for Pedri, he is not part of the Spain squad for the current international break as he recuperates from an injury he picked up towards the end of the season. Despite not playing for long periods, the midfielder was voted the best player of the 2021/22 season.

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