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Pedri

Kopa Trophy 2021: Barcelona Golden Boy Pedri picks up another prize

22:04 SAST 2021/11/29
20211126_Pedri
The highly-rated midfielder continues to see his stock soar, with the likes of Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka being fended off once again

Barcelona youngster Pedri has enjoyed a remarkable 2021, with a teenager that already boasts the prestigious Golden Boy prize adding the Kopa Trophy to his ever-growing collection of awards.

At just 19 years of age, the promising playmaker has been recognised as the best player under the age of 21 on the planet.

He finds himself following in some illustrious footsteps, with the two previous winners of the Kopa crown being Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe and Juventus defender Matthijs de Light – with France Football handing out no gongs in a coronavirus-impacted 2020.

Why did Pedri win the Kopa Trophy?

A hot prospect was playing second tier football at Las Palmas before Barcelona came calling in the summer of 2020.

A memorable debut campaign at Camp Nou delivered 52 appearances, four goals and Copa del Rey glory.

Pedri also broke in the senior Spain squad, allowing him to make history at Euro 2020, before then going on to grace a gold medal match with his country at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Those exploits helped him to the coveted Golden Boy award, while he also finished fourth on the GOAL NXGN list for 2021 and landed himself a new contract at Camp Nou with a €1 billion (£846m/$1.13bn) release clause.

Who missed out?

Pedri saw off some fierce competition to claim top spot in the Kopa poll, with world football currently brimming with exciting young stars.

England internationals Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, of Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund respectively, fall into that category, but they have been left making up the numbers.

The same can be said for USMNT midfielder Gio Reyna – who is a club colleague of Bellingham at Dortmund – and Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood.

Jamal Musiala is another teenager causing a stir in Germany at Bayern Munich, but must wait for his moment in the spotlight, while Florian Wirtz is attracting plenty of interest at Bayer Leverkusen.

The other hopefuls on a star-studded Kopa Trophy shortlist were Rennes starlet Jeremy Doku, Nuno Mendes of PSG and Ajax forward Ryan Gravenberch.

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