Exactly a year ago, a slim 17-year-old midfielder tried to stop Las Palmas, which hovered six points above the relegation zone, from moving into Spain’s third division.
The name of the child born in the Canaries who worked hard for the islanders was Pedro GonzÃ¡lez LÃ³pez. You know him as Pedri.
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Despite being only 18 years old and still finishing his decisive season in senior football, this same little gem is one of only three members of Luis Enrique’s squad – Unai SimÃ³n and Aymeric Laporte the others – to have played the 390 minutes of the Spanish UEFA EURO. Campaign 2020 to date.
Pedri is an incredible player.
Talented teenage tyros are not a new phenomenon. Usually, however, their emergence will be due to something remarkable like power or pace – boys of age, men of stature. Not Pedro. He plays like an experienced and decorated senior pro.
It should be implausible for a person so young, so inexperienced, and so physically light to possess supernatural gaming intelligence, peripheral vision, and first contact, not to mention the innate bravery of wanting the ball all the time.
And just in case you think I’m the least bit excited about the peculiarity of this little phenomenon, note this: Pedri started the tournament as the youngest Spanish player to compete in a EURO and briefly became the youngest. from anywhere to start a knockout match. That didn’t stop him from completing more passes in the final third (114) than any other player in the final.
His stats, however, should be the last things to woo you. Just watch it.
There is a gentle but noticeable squat on the ball at Pedri’s stature; his arms will be extended slightly to the side to add balance to his natural balance, the socks rolled up as much as the rules allow – he’s a throwback to the ball players of the 1960s and 70s.
It also gives the impression of having eyes in the back of the head. Either that or he played a given match in a previous life – how else to explain the anticipation he shows time and time again?
For Barca-watchers, the immediacy of Lionel Messi’s absolute adoration for his new team-mate was the ultimate litmus test that something big was about to happen. Messi only shares the ball with special footballers – but he and Pedri seem to be thinking with the same brain.
For an abbreviated guide to Pedri’s supreme touch, sight and supernatural sight, take a look at his role in Spain’s second, third and fourth goals against Slovakia. Gorgeous, sumptuous, delicious – choose your adjective.
He’s a generational talent, not only intended for the superstar, but also someone who will make anyone who loves football turn green and sigh with pleasure for years to come. Hello everyone, Pedro.
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