Barcelona and Spain midfielder Pedri has finally taken over the number 8 shirt after spending two years with the La Liga champions. The number 8 shirt is considered as a legendary number in Barcelona after it was worn by some impressive Blaugrana heroes.
Barcelona confirmed that Pedri would be their new number 8 ahead of next season, and that will make him the second midfielder to take the shirt after club legend Andres Iniesta.
The 19-year-old Spanish player joined Barcelona from Las Palmas in the summer of 2020 and has been a great addition to the Spanish giants.
Although, Barcelona have struggled to win trophies since he joined, Pedri has established him as the future of the clubs midfield. The young player keeps being impressive for both his club and country. His amazing performance has placed him as one of the highest earners in the club after his contract renewal and also the opportunity to take over the legendary number 8 shirt.
The Spanish player was given the number 16 shirt when he joined the club in 2020.
Pedri’s first season at Barcelona was not favorable as the club ended the 2019/20 season without a title and was knocked out of the UEFA Champions League competition by Bayern Munich in a heavy defeat.
Last two seasons, the number 8 shirt was worn by Bosnia international Miralem Pjanic, and Pedri had to fight for playing time. The 19-year-old later found his form and helped Barcelona to win the 2021 Copa del Rey under Ronald Koeman.
A new era begins. Pedri 8️⃣. pic.twitter.com/omb0yqDiUi— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 8, 2022
Miralem Pjanic then left on a loan deal to Besiktas and the number 8 shirt was given to returning Dani Alves, leaving Pedri with the No. 16 shirt last season. However, Dani Alves is no longer with the club after spending just one year on his second stint, thereby allowing the teenager to move up to a starting number.
Many top players have worn the number 8 shirt for Barcelona, including players like Guillermo Amor, Hristo Stoichkov, Albert Celades, and Phillip Cocu, former head coach and now Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, used it during the 1993-94 season. Afterward, Iniesta took over the shirt number.
The Spanish player established himself as one of the best midfielders in the history of football to have worn the number 8 shirt. He was one of the players who helped Barcelona to win many titles in Spain and across Europe.
Iniesta, however, wore the number 6 shirt during the South Africa 2010 World Cup Final, while his teammate and now-Barca manager Xavi used his number (8) on the world stage.