Barcelona: No time off for Barca’s crown jewel Pedri

Pedri of FC Barcelona. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Pedri of FC Barcelona. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /

Within just one season, Pedri has asserted himself as one of the most important pieces in the Barcelona jigsaw under Ronald Koeman. The 18-year-old midfield genius, through his creativity and imagination, has taken everyone by surprise. So much so that everyone wanted a piece of him. He was an integral part of Barcelona’s team last season, a key cog for Luis Enrique’s Spain side at EURO 2020, and lastly playing for Luis de la Fuente’s Spain at the Tokyo Olympics.

For every footballer, the summer break is a much-needed respite from the intense footballing schedule, nerve-wracking games, and recurrent flying from one stadium to another. Every professional footballer deserves this time off to recharge his or her batteries and be ready for the next season.

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If there’s one footballer on the planet who deserves a break more than ever is Pedri. The Spaniard played a staggering total of 73 games last season, clocking over 5000 minutes of football in a season that began in September 2020 and went on till August 2021.

What also needs to be factored in is the number of air miles he’s traveled over the course of the season. Practically, he’s flown across the globe, going from Europe to Japan for the Olympics and adjusting the Japanese time. After spending two weeks in Tokyo, he has returned to Spain with an Olympic silver medal.

Pedri will be a part of the Barcelona squad against Real Sociedad

The Spaniard played the Olympic final last Saturday and will now be a part of Barcelona’s squad for their opening La Liga game against Real Sociedad on 15th August, as per Mundo Deportivo. Barcelona are in a precarious situation where they cannot register new signings due to their financial limitations and have now suffered injury setbacks with Frenkie de Jong and Gavi.

Koeman hopes to count on the player for the upcoming fixtures meaning he’ll only have his much-needed break for recuperation in September. The Blaugrana are treading on dangerous grounds as far as Pedri’s fitness is concerned.

Fatigue and mental burnout are possibilities especially after such a long and enduring season for a player who is just 18. If he’s not handled with care, there could be serious repercussions in short term and long term. Muscle injuries due to overworking and over-exertion are common while the risk of burnout at an early age will loom if Barcelona’s crown jewel continues to play at this rate.

Ronald Koeman is not against Pedri having a vacation and will be hopeful that La Roja boss and former Barca manager Enrique will leave the 18-year-old out of the squad for the September International break where the youngster can recharge and rest.

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Will Pedri start against Real Sociedad?