Alarm bells for Pedri and Barca

22 Th4 2022 | 06:42

The fact that Pedri has to take a break for the whole season shows the downside of Barcelona being too dependent on this year’s 19-year-old player.

After Barca was eliminated from the Europa League by Eintracht Frankfurt, the Camp Nou team continued to receive more bad news. The club’s medical team confirmed that the midfielder born in 2002 suffered a torn hamstring in his left leg. Spanish media believe that the latest injury will cause Pedri to end the 2021/22 season early.

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Pedri suffered the second serious injury of the season after the match against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on the morning of April 15 (Hanoi time). Photo: Reuters.

Overload sign

Raymond Verheijen, a former fitness expert for the Netherlands and Barcelona, ​​said that the torn hamstring Pedri suffered from the player’s overload in recent times.

“Pedri’s thigh muscle injury is most likely the result of too much playing frequency.” Dutch fitness expert analysis. “It’s not a good sign for a young player, and we need to remember that Pedri has had a lot of muscle problems before from playing too much.”

Pedri only played in the first half of the second leg against Frankfurt, then he had to leave the field to make way for Frenkie de Jong. At the beginning of the season, Pedri had a hamstring problem, an injury that many experts believe also often comes from players having to play too much.

Pedri’s hamstring injury last August was quite severe, causing the young midfielder to be out of action for nearly 5 months. Pedri returned to the field at the end of January 2022 and quickly regained his form. He became an indispensable player in the play of coach Xavi.

During that time, Pedri started 18 out of 21 matches for Barca. The fact that he is out of the season is bad news for both Barca and the individual players. The 19-year-old midfielder has made great strides in form since the start of the year. Pedri began to impress in Barca’s victories over Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in February.

Since the beginning of April, Pedri’s influence on Barca’s play is even greater than before. This young player scored the only goal to help the Camp Nou team overcome strong rival Sevilla two weeks ago. In the 3-2 victory over Levante on April 10, Pedri also opened fire. For the first time this season, Pedri scored in 2 consecutive matches.

The 42-year-old strategist believes that the fact that Pedri plays closer to the goal, daring to boldly finish shows a turning point in the development of the player. The ability to score and decide the match is an affirmation of the class of a midfielder.

Xavi is willing to let Frenkie de Jong sit on the bench recently, but he can’t do that with Pedri. When facing Frankfurt at Camp Nou, De Jong had to substitute for Pedri. That speaks volumes about the importance of the young Spaniard at Barca at the moment.

In an interview in early April on his personal channel, Gerard Pique assessed that Pedri is doing the unthinkable for a player at the age of 19.

“In my opinion, even club legends like Iniesta or Xavi can’t do it at Pedri’s age.”Barca midfielder commented. “In the past, Iniesta or Xavi needed time to improve and reach the top level.”

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Muscle injuries could ruin Pedri’s future. Photo: Reuters.

Math for Coach Xavi

The incredible growth of Pedri is not only due to the talent of the players. Pedri debuted Barca in the context of the Catalan team falling into a serious crisis. Unlike Iniesta or Xavi, Pedri is not subject to competition for the main kick from senior midfielders.

However, everything has two sides. Last season, Pedri made 76 appearances in all competitions, a record number for a player in European football. Since the beginning of the 2021/22 season, despite two serious injuries, Pedri has also made 24 appearances for the club and the Spain team. This is only the second season that Pedri has enjoyed the feeling of playing at the top level in the world.

Finding a replacement for Pedri for the rest of the season is not easy for Barca. However, coach Xavi was forced to do it. The Barca captain will have to consider the option of using De Jong with the young duo of Nico Gonzalez and Gavi.

In addition, coach Xavi also needs to consider a plan to reduce the load for Pedri in the next 2022/23 season, otherwise the player’s development is at risk because of injury.

Earlier this year, Xavi was also criticized after Ansu Fati relapsed with a hamstring injury in a 2-3 loss to Athletic Bilbao on January 20, 2022. The match against Bilbao in the round of 16 of the King’s Cup team mentioned above was also the first time Pedri returned from a long-term injury. But Xavi let the young midfielder play for 108 minutes.

Many Spanish medical experts and media did not hesitate to criticize Xavi for that decision. Midfielder born in 2002 almost had to plow continuously over the past time.

Pedri will take some time to recover and prepare for the new 2022/23 season. The World Cup in Qatar will also take place at the end of the year and if Pedri continues to play with the same intensity as last time, no one knows what can happen.

World football has seen many cases of young players having their careers ruined because of too much work. Jack Wilshere, Michael Owen or recently Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford are examples. Fati’s case is also another alarm bell for Pedri and coach Xavi.

According to Tuong Linh – | 10:40 April 16, 2022