Barcelona’s 17-year-old midfielder Pedri could not have gotten on the scoresheet in his aspect’s 2-0 Champions League win over Juventus however the teenager was the unmistakeable star in a victory that gave life to his wounded aspect and put him on the map.
Given a second begin in a row regardless of wanting fazed in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid, Pedri performed with ambition and bravado in opposition to 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 opposition to Ferencvaros final week, left the pitch with a 95% cross price, making greater than 75% of his passes within the opponents’ half.
He additionally chipped in with defensive work, regaining possession six occasions.
But what was most spectacular was his willingness to tackle world class gamers and his calm method on the ball when beneath stress.
“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, higher generally known as 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 participant was nonetheless 16 and had solely performed three video games for the second division aspect.
Before becoming a member of Las Palmas in July 2019, Pedri had by no means been at knowledgeable membership, growing as a participant at newbie aspect CF Juventud Laguna.
He did have trials at Real Madrid aged 15 however was rejected after his first observe was cancelled on account of a snowstorm within the Spanish capital.
He has since stated he’s extra suited to the fashion 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.”