Barcelona teenager Pedri has been named the 2021 European Golden Boy, becoming the first Camp Nou player to receive the Lionel Messi World Superstar Award.
The award, which is presented by Italian media Tuttosport, is awarded annually to the best European player aged 21 and under, with the famous list of finalists recognizing the best young people on the continent.
Past award winners are Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling and Erling Haaland, who won the gong in 2020.
Borussia Dortmund and England star Jude Bellingham came in second after an exceptional year, which included his debut for his country at Euro 2020 and strong seasons in the Bundesliga after arriving from Birmingham City.
But Pedri took home the award and a record 199 points, after his superb first year at Barcelona – scoring four goals and collecting six assists in 56 appearances for the Catalan club.
The young midfielder finished the 2020/21 campaign with the most appearances across Europe, made 73 appearances across the campaign.
Pedri has played a total of 52 games in La Liga, Copa Del Rey, Spanish Super Cup and Champions League in the 20/21 season, as well as 21 games for Spain in international friendlies, Euro 2020 qualifiers , Euro 2020 finals and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Incredibly, he was also the only Spanish player to be named to the Euro 2020 tournament squad, where they were eliminated from the semi-finals on penalties by the future Italian winners.
In a video message, Pedri said: “I thank Tuttosport for this trophy which makes me proud. Thank you also to all the members of the jury and the fans who have always supported me in this year 2021 which is simply incredible for me.
“Of course a big thank you to Barca, the national team, my family, my friends and of course everyone who has been close to me day in and day out without whom I could not have won the Golden Boy . “
The central midfielder has not played since his thigh injury he suffered in August, and the LaLiga side have missed their magic on the pitch during a cursed season for Ronald Koeman’s side.
Nonetheless, the 18-year-old became the first Barcelona player to win the Golden Boy title since Camp Nou legend Lionel Messi in 2005.
The incredible talent of the Argentine has also been greatly missed by his childhood club since the striker’s controversial free transfer to Paris Saint Germain this summer.
But if Pedri can come back from injury and regain the form he was recognized for, Barcelona may not notice Messi’s shaped hole in their squad as much.