Spain manager Luis Enrique has lavished praise on Pedri after the nation’s exit from Euro 2020 to Italy at Wembley earlier this week.
La Roja came up short in a penalty shoot-out with Italy for a place in the final, but it was not for the want of trying on 18-year-old Pedri’s part, who has taken the tournament by storm, playing the full 90 minutes in each of the nation’s six games — and extra-time bar one minute against Switzerland.
The teenager has completed more final third passes than any other player at the tournament (177), highlighting his forward-thinking approach, while all 55 of his passes in the match against Italy during normal time reached their target, making him a standout candidate for the ‘Young Player of the Tournament’.
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Following his recent showing against Roberto Mancini’s men, his manager, Enrique, further endorsed his burgeoning talents, believing the Barcelona midfielder is demonstrating a level that not even Andres Iniesta was exhibiting during his formative years at the Camp Nou.
Enrique said: “It’s unique what Pedri has done. People have not seen anything like this before, never. Andres Iniesta was not like this at 18-years-old.
“We have another 18-year-old in Ansu Fati to come back too. We have to look after these young players.”
Cesc Fabregas: What I like is the confidence that he has got
Enrique will have to join the queue of Spaniards heaping praise on the nation’s up-and-coming talent, with former prodigy Cesc Fabregas equally in awe of Pedri’s performances this summer, identifying his “confidence” as a key trait in his progression.
“He started a little slowly but like the team he is growing into a tournament,” Fabregas told talkSPORT.
“He played a fantastic season for Barcelona. He is only 18, we cannot forget that. He is a special talent and I think he will be a special talent in the near future
“What I like is the confidence that he has got. He was always asking for the ball. Okay, sometimes he can be better, sometimes he can make other decisions but I believe that he is showing always for the ball.
“In difficult moments he is there to be available and this is what I like. It is his personality.”