Pedri hopes to 'lead Barca to glory' after receiving Golden Boy award

By Sports Desk December 13, 2021

Pedri is living the dream at Barcelona and hopes to lead the beleaguered club back to glory after receiving his Golden Boy award on Monday.

The 19-year-old was a landslide victor in last month's voting for Europe's best player aged under 21, beating runner-up Jude Bellingham by a record-breaking 199-point margin.

He enjoyed a breakthrough season at Camp Nou after making his debut in September and went on to feature in more games (52) than any other Barca player.

Pedri then became the youngest player to represent Spain at a major tournament during Euro 2020, finishing with more passes completed in the final third (177) than any player.

The Las Palmas academy product followed that up by travelling to Tokyo for the Olympic Games and helping his country win a silver medal. 

However, Pedri's rise to prominence has come during a difficult period for Barca, who exited the Champions League at the group stage last week and are eighth in LaLiga.

The teenager, who is currently sidelined with a niggling thigh problem, accepts it is down to him and his team-mates to turn things around.

"Being at Barcelona is a dream for me," he said. "This is the best club in the world, though we must start to show that on the pitch and lead Barca to glory, which we deserve.

"I am at the club I've always wanted to be at. For that I thank president Joan Laporta. It is a club I love and one that gives me maximum happiness."

Pedri is the first Barcelona player to win the trophy – which was awarded to Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland last year – since Cesc Fabregas in 2006.

Real Madrid midfielder Isco is the only other Spanish player to have collected the award since its inception in 2003.

Barca sports director Jordi Cruyff was also at the ceremony on Monday and said: "Pedri has personality, He has shown it at a big club with pressure. 

"He asks for the ball in difficult situations and has a great future. He deserves the award. He makes his family happy and Barcelona happy."

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was named the Golden Man winner, meanwhile, and Barcelona's Lieke Martens collected the Golden Woman award.

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    PREDICTION

    Argentina are a 44.2 per cent chance to emerge victorious and progress to the semi-finals, according to Stats Perform's AI computer.

    The Netherlands are rated at 27.1 per cent chance with a draw coming in at 28.7 per cent.

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