Veteran Barcelona defender Dani Alves has offered to hand the No. 8 shirt to midfield sensation Pedri from the upcoming season.
The 38-year-old returned to Camp Nou in November last year when he signed on a Bosman deal after his contract with Sao Paulo expired. Having had to wait until January for his second debut, the right-back has made a difference since coming back to the club.
At the time of his registration in January, Alves did not have many options to choose from for his shirt number. And the defender ended up going with No. 8.
In a recent interview, Pedri admitted that he would like to wear the No. 8 shirt as he idolises former Barcelona midfielder and club legend Andres Iniesta. In fact, the young Spaniard has been likened to the club icon by many, including manager Xavi Hernandez.
And now, Alves has claimed that he would be happy to hand the No. 8 jersey to Pedri next season. Speaking in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, he said:
“I read in an interview that he said he liked the number 8 and I spoke to the people at the club, that next season if he wants it he can take it, if I stay, of course. If I leave, he can take it straight away.”
The right-back added that it was important for Pedri, or whoever takes a certain shirt to respect and defend the legacy of those who have worn it before.
“If he wants it, it’s his, but there is only one mission, we have to defend it well, because this shirt has been worn by great people, very special people, especially for me, like Iniesta or Hristo… they are people who have done a lot for this club,” he added.
“The numbers have to be defended and respected as they should be, they have a history behind them, for those who have honoured this club,” Alves said.
Pedri currently dons the No. 16 shirt for Barcelona. But in all likelihood, the Spanish international will be inheriting the No. 8 jersey come next season.