In an interview with Sport, Ronald Koeman’s favourite youngster Pedri spoke about many subjects. The soon-to-be 18-year-old is one of the hottest youngsters on the planet thanks to his recent sublime performances with Barcelona.
“I’m enjoying it all, it’s a really nice sensation. You’re far from the people that love you, but I’m doing what I like, which is playing football.”Pedri | Sport
“When I came, I was a player who had been playing in the second division. I didn’t have as much experience and I came to acquire that as soon as possible, to try and stay here with effort and hard work.”
Leaving your hometown for bigger and shinier opportunities is not an easy task. At 17, Pedri has shown that he is mature enough to play football at the highest level. The midfielder has impressed at Camp Nou and it is a true testament to his hard work. If he keeps that form, he might become untouchable in Koeman’s eleven.
“I always watch the game again to see where I made mistakes. I focus more on what I did wrong than what I did right. That is the best way to improve.”Pedri | Sport
“Goalscoring is something I have to improve. Physically too, I am working on it. All to be better in the future.”
The 17-year-old is a dedicated player. He has worked day and night to get where he is and there is no sign of complacency from him. If he is that good at 17, his hard work will reward him and, who knows, one day he will become one of the best in the world. This motivation to reach the top is healthy and beneficial for a youngster like Pedri.
However, Pedri’s abilities could not have developed without his coach’s faith in him. Koeman decided to start Pedri in big games, as well as the Juventus game he touched upon. Starting El Clasico and getting his first games in La Liga and the Champions League is thanks to the Dutch manager’s faith in him:
“From day one he told me I had to work very hard because it is hard to stay at Barça. I’ve shown him that I am able to play here, and he has backed me by playing me in important games. I have to be grateful to him and keep working.”Pedri | Sport
“I was really happy to play in El Clasico. It’s a dream that you have as a kid since you see it on TV. I was lucky and I’m grateful to Koeman and my teammates for making it easy for me to play.”
“It was quite special to see Messi in person, as it is with everyone. But as the days pass, he’s a normal guy and a friend in the dressing room. It’s great to play games, train and learn from the best player in the world.”Pedri | Sport
Learning from Lionel Messi is a true privilege. The youngster has got a really talented crop of players surrounding him. His hard work comes from the veterans mentoring him, and La Pulga has done just that. Everybody can spot his enormous potential, and Leo is no stranger to that. After the Juve game, Paulo Dybala asked for his shirt. If Pedri keeps on working that hard and stays on Messi’s good books, he could become the student the Argentine legend was to Ronaldinho.
Ousmane Dembélé talks Tuchel, Messi, Eto’o, Laporta
In an interview with BeIN Sports, Ousmane Dembele spilled beans on various topics ranging from football to personal life. The interview was conducted before yesterday’s Clásico.
The French winger is reportedly a player who the new president, Joan Laporta, admires a lot. Even during his campaign, the Catalan lawyer raised the issue of Dembele’s renewal. The club has invested heavily in Dembele and has finally started to reap results.
When asked the question about his contract renewal, Dembele explained: “My future? I still have a year left on my contract. There have been no discussions with the club, I’m happy and I feel good.
“A new president has arrived and I don’t really know him, but he is very close to the players. We’ll see how it goes.”
In all the reports that have come out and interviews given by the young players, all of them have mentioned that the club captain, Lionel Messi shares an exceptional with this new generation of players.
On the same lines the World Cup winner said: “Messi gives confidence to the young players in the team and helps us a lot. He gives me advice.”
Dembele is said to be liking his new role up top in the newly found 3-5-2 system by Koeman. He jokingly said in the interview that the dressing room now relates him to Samuel Eto’o, a former Barça legend: “As I now play up top, they call me Samuel Eto’o in the dressing room.”
The Barça winger had an excellent season at Dortmund which led to multiple European giants going into a bidding war for him.
His strike partner during his days in Germany was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whom the Frenchman regarded as `his favorite teammate’. He also said that `Thomas Tuchel is his favorite coach’.