FC Barcelona have been left embarrassed by viral images of Pedri and Ansu Fati together at Camp Nou.
With either one or both of them injured for regular periods of the 2021/2022 season, the ‘Dream Teen’ duo have rarely been available together for first team coach Xavi Hernandez – in just two games across the whole term to be precise – and Barca have suffered because of it.
Not only are the Blaugrana on course for their lowest-scoring season in 15 years – since an era as dark as the one they currently trudge through – without Fati leading the front line, but there is also a strong case to be made for the Catalans having a Lionel Messi-esque Pedri-dependence on their midfielder from Tenerife.
These days, with Pedri absent for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury, and Fati recovering from one and trying to regain match fitness, you are far more likely to see the Spain internationals exchanging words in the terraces than passes on the pitch.
That was the case on Sunday, when the Blaugrana slumped to their third consecutive home defeat for the first time in club history against Rayo Vallecano.
Yet more embarrassing for the club than the 1-0 defeat to the La Liga new boys, who signed Ronald Koeman’s death warrant with an identical win in the Spanish capital Madrid in the autumn, have been images of Pedri and Fati taking in the game.
Captured by Movistar at intermittent periods of the defeat, they show the club’s two most valuable young prospects sat in battered old seats in Camp Nou with deteriorating upholstery – which according to SPORT has put the club’s directors and executives on high alert.
There are allegedly fears behind the scenes that some members of the press will take note of these details and use them as evidence to suggest that Barca and its stadium are broken, and it seems that the higher-ups will labor so that similar scenes are not repeated on Sunday when Xavi’s men host Mallorca.
In the fixture vital to Barca tying down second place for automatic Champions League qualification, Fati could also make his long-awaited comeback.