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Pedri talks Yamal, Ferran, Bellingham, Wirtz, De la Fuente, new role



Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona had little to play for in their final games of last season, but this did not deter many players from showing up for the team and prevent a bitter aftertaste from lingering as the season concluded.

One standout performer who delivered consistent performances in the run-up to the season’s end was Pedri Gonzalez.

The Canary Islander has continued his excellent form with the Spanish national team, proving to be a crucial asset for his side in the ongoing Euros.

Indeed, in his last six games for both club and country, he has recorded five goals and assists, with a rise in his involvement in the final third.

Pedri on being closer to goal

Although he is known for dictating plays from deep, Pedri possesses a valuable profile higher up the pitch, which is something Spain coach Luis de La Fuente is keen on extracting.

“Luis de la Fuente believes that the closer I am to the box, the better,” the 21-year-old acknowledged in an interview with El Pais.

In his first game of the Euros against Croatia, Pedri notched an assist for Fabian Ruiz’s goal, while he was situated in several scoring situations against Italy as well.

Discussing the differences in roles and responsibilities between playing higher up the pitch and deeper behind, he said:

“I’m closer to the danger zone. Everything I do has more relevance in the game. Also goals and assists, of course.

On the other hand, when you are a little further behind, you help bring the ball forward. It is true that in today’s football there are few coaches who use a number 10.

But there are many players with qualities to play there. It’s a position in which I feel comfortable with. I enjoy it,” he professed.

Pedri excelling as the No. 10 for Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

He elaborated on the increased chances to contribute to goals, stating, “Because when you receive the ball, you are already in a position to face the center-backs, to shoot, or to give an assist. It’s spectacular.”

Advice to Lamine Yamal

The 16-year-old wonderboy Lamine Yamal has taken the Euros by storm. He became the youngest player to start in the tournament against Croatia but has looked unfazed by the pressure in his opening two games.

Pedri, who has experience in this competition, won the young player of the tournament in 2022 and offered Yamal his two cents.

“In the first games of the Euro I told Lamine to be calm, to enjoy. I explained to him that if he did what he knows, he will do well,” he stated.

Meanwhile, when asked to name some of the current players that he likes to watch, Pedri replied:

“There are a lot of people. Wirtz has had a great season. Musiala, I’ve played against him, I like him a lot. You’ve seen the season Bellingham had. And I shared a dressing room with Grizi [Griezmann]. He’s a player I love.”

On his friendship with Ferran

Pedri and Ferran Torres’ strong bond has been well-established by now, as the two players are often seen side by side.

“Am I with Ferran all day? Now it’s a little less, because he plays Call of Duty and I’m very bad at it,” he shared.

Furthermore, Pedri shared an interesting habit he developed from Ferran Torres, which helps build mental fortitude.

When asked if Ferran has alerted him on mental health, the youngster replied,” Yes. One minute in ice water. He’s been doing it for a year.

“He gets in every morning, before breakfast: ice water up to the neck and before going out he also sinks his head. It got so intense that it convinced me.

“And now I can’t stop doing it. I’ve been doing it for three months. It’s good for my muscles, it wakes me up, it activates me. I recommend that you try it.”

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