‘Riqui Puig reminds me of Xavi and is the future of Barcelona’ – Rivaldo

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 20 May 2021 08:54 BST 2 min read
‘Riqui Puig reminds me of Xavi and is the future of Barcelona’ – Rivaldo

Riqui Puig’s talent should be encouraged at Barcelona as he is reminiscent of a young Xavi, according to 1999 Ballon d’Or winner Rivaldo.

Despite the promise the Puig has shown, Ronald Koeman has often been reticent to throw the midfielder into action.

This has caused the 21-year-old to be linked with a potential move away from Camp Nou on loan in January.

In recent weeks, however, Koeman has performed something of a U-turn, with the prodigious youngster offered more of a chance to shine.

Rivaldo has been encouraged by this turn of events as he sees Puig as the future of Barcelona.

“I like to see how Koeman is starting to give him more prominence,” he told Sport. “Puig is showing his worth and that he has great personality.

“He reminds me of the young Xavi who started to emerge at Barcelona when I was part of the squad.”

Xavi went on to become an icon of Barcelona and their tiki-taka brand of football, which saw them dominate football under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, who led them from 2008-2012.

‘Pedri and Ruqui Puig are Barcelona’s future’

It was notable that side was formed of players brought through the club’s La Masia academy. Rivaldo believes that the likes of Puig and Pedri, who have followed a similar path, must remain at Camp Nou. He says this is especially important during a time of economic strife at the club.

“Surely the pair of Pedri and Riqui Puig will be the future of Barcelona at a time in which the squad must be renewed,” he said. “It is important that the transition is positive to continue winning titles.”

Barcelona face Athletic Club in La Liga on Sunday, with both Pedri and Riqui Puig expected to be part of Koeman’s squad as the Catalans try to keep their slim hopes of winning La Liga alive.

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