Barcelona superstar Daniel Alves has revealed he is ready to hand over the No.8 shirt to Blaugrana teammate Pedri next season.
Five years after leaving Camp Nou, Alves returned to Barcelona on a free transfer last November. While the Brazilian mainly wore the No.2 shirt during his first spell with the Catalans, the number was already taken by Sergino Dest when he signed up in January.
Alves therefore opted for the No.8 shirt when he returned mid-season. The kit has a huge history at Barcelona as it was once worn by club legend Andres Iniesta during his time at Camp Nou.
While Alves is currently wearing the No.8 kit, Pedri has recently expressed his desire to put on the shirt. The 19-year-old considers Iniesta his idol and is keen on wearing the same shirt as the former Barcelona midfielder.
The right-back has now revealed he has already spoken to Blaugrana officials about handing over the No. 8 jersey to Pedri. Alves is ready to gift the teenager with the kit even if he signs a contract extension with the club. He said Mundo Deportivo [via Barca Universal]:
“I read in an interview that he [Pedri] said he liked number 8 and I spoke to people at the club, that next season if he wants he can take it, if I stay, of course. If I leave, he can take it right away.
Alves, however, stressed the need for Pedri to defend the kit if he wants to get the No.8 shirt next season. He said:
“If he wants it, it’s his, but there’s only one mission, you have to defend it well, because this jersey has been worn by great people, very special people, especially for me , like Iniesta or Hristo. [Stoichkov] they are people who have done a lot for this club.”
“Numbers should be defended and respected as they should be, they have a story behind them, for those who have graced this club.”
Pedri, who has established himself as a regular Barcelona starter since his 2020 debut, has been compared to Iniesta by many. The teenager is seen as the present and the future of the club and thus could be worthy of wearing the No.8 shirt soon.
The Spain international has made 72 appearances in all competitions for the Blaugrana, scoring eight and assisting seven goals in the process. He has a contract with the club until 2026.
Alves’ future at Barcelona is in doubt
Alves joined the Catalans on a deal until the end of the season in January. The Brazilian has since played 10 appearances for the club, scoring one goal and providing three assists.
As things stand, the 38-year-old will leave Camp Nou at the end of the season. However, it has been suggested that Alves could extend his stay with Xavi’s side further.
The right-back, however, is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal. So it remains to be seen if he will be at Barcelona next season.