FC Barcelona – La Liga He’s a fan of the playmaker
Former Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has recognised that the Blaugrana have got themselves a bargain with Pedri.
The 18-year-old arrived from Las Palmas for five million euros, although the price could eventually reach between 30 and 35m euros, but Zubizarreta thinks he would have cost even more if he was Brazilian.
“If he was [called] Pedrinho, he would have cost 50 million [euros],” the 59-year-old joked on Cadena SER’s ‘Què t’hi jugues’ programme.
“You have to look at what you have inside the club first, but he is a great player.”
Zubizarreta also reflected on the performances of Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Luis Suarez, two of his best signings whilst in his role as sporting director at Barcelona. He also made clear that while Thibaut Courtois is a great goalkeeper, he did not fit the profile that the Blaugrana were looking for.
“There weren’t many goalkeepers in the world who played like this, [but] now there are more,” he recognised.
“From the first moment, we worked on the future and spotting talent. We saw that there was a young boy in Germany who played the way we wanted him to play and we went for him.
“I have always said that Courtois would be one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but that he was a goalkeeper with a profile that [did not fit Barcelona]. We were clear that we wanted a goalkeeper similar to [Victor] Valdes.”
Finally, he discussed the signing of Suarez, who arrived at the Camp Nou after infamously biting Giorgio Chiellini.
“People told me that he didn’t have Barcelona DNA or that he didn’t have mobility,” Zubizarreta explained.
“In the end, with his work and quality, he integrated into the team’s play with Leo [Messi] and Neymar. I don’t need to explain his career at Barcelona.
“It’s hard, because strikers have this instinct for goals and Luis will always have that. When he plays a legends’ game at the age of 50, he will still be scoring goals.”