Messi Loved Seeing Barcelona’s Pedri Win Kopa Trophy [LOOK]

Lionel Messi

Getty Lionel Messi at the 2021 Ballon d'Or awards.

Barcelona legend Lionel Messi couldn’t hide his delight at seeing former teammate Pedri win the 2021 Kopa Trophy at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony on Monday, November 29.

Pedri scooped the prestigious award for the best Under-21 player, beating off competition from players such as Jude Bellingham, Mason Greenwood, Ryan Gravenberch, and Jamal Musiala.

The youngster enjoyed a stellar debut campaign for Barcelona in 2020-21 and formed a great partnership with Messi. There was no disguising the pride on Messi’s face when Pedri was announced as the winner of the prize, as shown by Deportes Cuatro.

Pedri arrived at Barcelona from Las Palmas and went on to surprise many by forcing his way straight into the starting XI and going on to become a regular. He won the Copa del Rey with Barca last season and also became a key player for Spain.

The teenager played a crucial role in Spain’s run to the semi-finals at the 2020 European Championship and also picked up a silver medal with the national team at the Tokyo Olympics.

Pedri’s Kopa Trophy award is the second individual trophy the youngster has won in a week. The midfielder has also picked up the 2021 Golden Boy Award, becoming just the second Barca player, after Lionel Messi, to scoop the prestigious prize.

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Pedri Thanks Messi In Acceptance Speech

Messi may have left Barcelona but he is still clearly in Pedri’s thoughts as the youngster paid tribute to his former captain in his acceptance speech, as reported by Diario Sport.

“Good evening everyone, I recently turned 19 and I think the best way to celebrate is to receive this award alongside the best footballers in the world,” he said. “I want to thank Barça, all the people who have supported me day by day, the coaches, the players and above all the captains, who made my stay in Barcelona easier, like Leo Messi, here. Thank you for everything you helped me.”

Pedri ended up playing an incredible 75 games for club and country last season, more than any other player. The midfielder started 57 of those games and managed 5,273 minutes of first-team football.

Pedri Talks Injury Problems

The heavy workload may have taken its toll with Pedri having been forced on to the sidelines in 2021-22 with a thigh injury. A recent relapse means he is not expected back until January 2022.

Pedri was asked about his injury problems after picking up his award but denied the amount of games he played last season was the reason for his current physical issues, as reported by Diario Sport’s Toni Juanmarti.

“I shouldn’t have played so much last year?” he said. “I don’t think about it because I like to play and I’m happy. I have to recover well now and time will tell when I return.”

Pedri also admitted he was hopeful he could follow in Messi’s footsteps and pick up the Ballon d’Or at some point in the future. He added, “I hope I can win the Ballon d’Or one day. But I know that it is very far and that I have to work a lot so that one day I can get there.”

Messi is the favorite to win the Golden Ball for a record seventh time at the ceremony.

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