Football

OFFICIAL: FC Barcelona prodigy wins 2021 Golden Boy Award

OFFICIAL: FC Barcelona prodigy wins 2021 Golden Boy Award

OFFICIAL: FC Barcelona prodigy wins 2021 Golden Boy Award

Pedri becomes the Barcelona second current player to win the trophy for Europe’s best player aged under 21

Pedri has been named the 2021 European Golden Boy, finishing 199 points ahead of Jude Bellingham in second place.

Pedri was unstoppable in the race to become the Golden Boy. The FC Barcelona midfielder has won the prestigious award presented each year by Italian sports paper Tuttosport to the best footballer aged under 21. The prize will be awarded in a gala event to take place in Turin, Italy on 13 December.

Game after game, Pedri has been developing at an extraordinary rate, and that’s even despite having to contend with injury problems. The Canary Islander played more minutes for Barça than anyone else in 2020/21, and was exceptional in all of them.

He took no time at all to adapt to football at the highest level, and played 52 competitive games in that year. Only Bojan played a half century of Barça games at a younger age.

Counting international games, he played 73 games, including Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics, where he was a silver medallist, he played more games than anyone else in Europe’s top leagues.

But it is not just quantity, it’s also the quality. Delightful passing, exquisite dribbling, magnificent positioning, magical combinations, quick decisions, goals and defensive work, this player has it all.

Leo Messi was Barça’s first winner of this accolade in 2005. However, Cesc Fàbregas (2006) and Kun Agüero (2007) also won the trophy, albeit with other teams at the time.

Pedro González López thus follows on from Erling Haaland, last year’s winner, and has also become the first player ever to be nominated for all of the Ballon d’Or, Kopa Trophy and Golden Boy in the same year. Can anyone stop Pedri from going on to even greater things? It’s unlikely!

‘This trophy makes me proud’
The news will come as little surprise to fans of Spanish football, who enjoyed watching Pedri punch a hole in Barcelona’s starting XI for his talents last season, only to go on and play a pivotal role in Spain’s impressive Euro 2020 campaign.

Although Pedri has struggled to get going this season due to injury, he was more than happy to accept the award ahead of what will surely be a long and illustrious career.

“I thank Tuttosport for this trophy which makes me proud,” said the young midfielder. “Thanks also to all the members of the jury and the fans who have always supported me in this simply incredible 2021 for me.

“And of course, many thanks to Barca, the national team, my family, my friends and obviously to all those who have been close to me day after day without whom I would not have been able to win the Golden Boy.

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