Barcelona’s 17-year-old midfielder Pedri may not have gotten on the scoresheet in his side’s 2-0 Champions League win over Juventus however the teenager was the unmistakeable star in a victory that gave life to his wounded side and put him on the map.
Given a second begin in a row regardless of watching fazed in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid, Pedri performed with ambition and bravado in anticipation of the Italian champions, driving Barca’s play with slick passing and assured dribbling.
“Knowing the age he is, what he did tonight was outstanding,” stated Barca coach Ronald Koeman.
“The fact he was able to show such skill and character at that age makes me very happy. He is going to be a great player for this Barcelona.”
The teenager, who was making his first Champions League begin after scoring from the bench in anticipation of Ferencvaros last week, left the pitch with a 95% go rate, making greater than 75% of his passes within the opponents’ half.
He also chipped in with defensive work, regaining possession six occasions.
But what was most spectacular was his willingness to tackle world class players and his calm method on the ball when below strain.
“A star is born”, stated Spanish newspaper Marca, including: “In Turin everyone was wondering who was this flimsy-looking and gangly youngster who turned into a giant in the Allianz Stadium.”
Born on the island of Tenerife, Pedro Gonzalo Lopez, finer often called Pedri, is barely in his second season in skilled soccer.
Barca plucked him from Las Palmas in September 2019 for five million euros ($5.91 million) when the player was still 16 and had just performed three games for the second division side.
Before becoming a member of Las Palmas in July 2019, Pedri had by no means been at an expert membership, growing as a player at newbie side CF Juventud Laguna.
He did have trials at Real Madrid aged 15 however was rejected after his first practice was cancelled on account of a snowstorm within the Spanish capital.
He has since stated he’s further suited to the type of Barcelona and desires to comply with within the footsteps of Andres Iniesta.
“Pedri arrived as a practically unknown figure for most Barca fans but has made an immediate impression for his tactical reading of matches,” stated newspaper AS.
“In Turin he confirmed that there is a boy who is banging at the door with enough force to knock it down.”
[ Attribution HT]