The coach who discovered Iniesta gives his blessing to Pedri

Pedrimania has broken out in Barcelona as he is gaining more and more relevance within the starting line-up. Despite only being 18 years old, Pedri has become the best news for the Catalans in a season which has not brought much joy.

As is usual in cases like this, both fans and the media are looking for comparisons. Many see Pedri as the new Andres Iniesta and Albert Benaiges, the man who discovered the former Blaugrana captain, sees similarities between the two players.

"The first time I discovered Pedri was in Brazil with the U17 team and I thought he was the best player in the team," said Benaiges.

"I really liked his style. We have to wait and see how he evolves."

Although Benaiges believes the Tenerife native is very talented for his age, he suggests that he is not as developed as a player as Iniesta was at this stage of his career.

"Putting him in the same age group, Iniesta had a change of pace that Pedri has not yet shown to have," he pointed out.

"Furthermore, it must be taken into account that Iniesta came to Barcelona as a child, whereas Pedri was already much older.

"Those actions that Andres learned at Barcelona, Pedri does not have them because he has not gone through that process.

"Pedri is an intelligent player, very important to the team, and technically very good.

"He works hard, he is not aggressive. In that he is a lot like Andres.

"But, as for the technical ability of Andres, it was perhaps more complete due to his change of pace. Even now he still has it."

Another similarity that Benaiges has recognised between the two players is off the pitch. Iniesta, despite being one of the best players in the world, always keeps a low profile and now it appears Pedri is going the same way.

"As people they are quite similar," he stated.

"Andres and Pedri are similar in the way they relate to their teammates in the dressing room."

A long shadow

In the midst of such euphoria, the discoverer of Iniesta believes that too much comparison could end up hindering Pedri.

"Comparisons will not be good for Pedri," he said.

"Pedri is Pedri and Andres is Andres."

Having said this, and taking into account the youth of Pedri, Benaiges sees a huge margin for improvement from the Canary Islander.

"He is a player who will improve for sure because he is a kid who is starting," he said.

"He has a good attitude and is intelligent. I have no doubt that he will improve over time."

Source: Marca / Ramiro Aldunate - Reiss Tigwell

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