Barcelona and Spain prodigy Pedri has won the prestigious Kopa Trophy, presented to the best young player in men’s football, at the Ballon d’Or 2021 awards ceremony.
Pedri, who turned 19 last week, enjoyed a breakthrough season in the Barcelona first team, featuring in 37 of their 38 league matches, and established himself in the Spanish national team too, displaying supreme technique and balance on the ball reminiscent of one of his idols, Andres Iniesta.
He was voted Young Player of the Tournament at this summer’s European Championship and was the only Spanish player to be named in the Euros’ Team of the Tournament, before going on to play at the Olympic Games too. In total, Pedri played a remarkable 73 matches for club and country in the 2020-21 season.
Pedri saw off competition from Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham, who turned 18 during Euro 2020. Bellingham has shone as a box-to-box midfielder for club and country with a rare combination of skill, intelligence and athleticism for someone so young, and is expected to be a crucial part of England’s future.
Bellingham finished second with Bayern Munich midfielder Jamal Musiala in third. Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood finished fifth, with Bukayo Saka in sixth as the other English contenders for the award.
Pedri has struggled with injury over the past few months and is unlikely to play again before the turn of the year. He signed a new deal with Barcelona earlier this season, with a buyout of €1bn.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies