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Spain coach Luis Enrique says he has appreciated Pedri for a long time



Photo via Imago

Ronald Koeman’s start to life at Barcelona may have been slow, but something that has remained constant during his tenure is that under his tutelage, youngsters have flourished from the very beginning.

Be it the signings that the club made before his arrival in Pedri and Fransisco Trincao or the ones that were already knocking on the door for first-team starts in Ansu Fati, Koeman’s eye for talent has been immense for the Catalans. With these players performing at the highest level on the biggest of stages, it wasn’t long until their National team coaches considered them for call-ups.

Having earned the status of a first-team regular under Koeman, Pedri has impressed anyone who has batted an eye on him and Luis Enrique seems to agree. When asked about his inclusion in the squad list for the upcoming qualifiers, he replied: “In Pedri we’ve seen a player who has the qualities to play in midfield, we’ve appreciated his skills for a long time, what I like the most about him is his tranquility, while being so ambitious, and the balance he has between attack and defending.”

With yet another international break approaching, Enrique has shared his squad sheet for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Greece, Georgia, and Kosovo. As expected, it has got plenty of reactions from football fans, with one of the key points being the first call-up for the Barcelona wonderkid, Pedri. Elsewhere, Jordi Alba has been invited as well after a huge spell off the team. Sergio Busquets, too will join his compatriots for the qualifiers.

Barcelona, as a club, has always been one of the key suppliers of players to the Spanish National Team. Lucho having spent a major part of his career with the Blaugrana himself, first as a player, then as a manager, knows the importance of Barça when it comes to National Team selections and has closely watched over the developments at the club during his spell.

Ansu Fati, who also made his Spain debut under Enrique missed out this time due to injury but the manager reaffirmed that it will be the performances that decide who makes the cut to the final squad of Euros later this year. He said, “Fati? My message to all the players in the national team who are injured: to recover as soon as possible. Then it will be their performance that dictates if they have a chance of reaching the national team or not.”

Fati is due to return from injury around April-end and would be optimistic that he regains fitness and form as quickly as possible, which will not only increase his chances for Euro but make him available for Barcelona at the business end of the season. As for Pedri, this is his time to shine.

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