Barcelona new-boy Pedri has spoken about how he felt meeting captain Lionel Messi for the first time.
The 17-year-old signed for the Catalan giants from Las Palmas over the summer and has told Sport’s Toni Juanmarti he was “tingling in his stomach” when he was first introduced to the Argentine.
Pedri also explained how the 33-year-old also offered him a bit of advice at their first meeting.
“I will never forget it. I just came into the sports centre and there he was. I went to say hello to him and he told me, ‘welcome, enjoy all this’. From there I let the air out and told myself, ‘well, let’s go and play.'”
The 17-year-old has been quick to make an impression at the Camp Nou in 2020-21 despite his young age and relative lack of experience. He’s featured as a substitute in all three of Barcelona’s La Liga games and is pushing for a first start.
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Pedri Prefers Brain over Brawn
Pedri also offered a bit of insight into how he views the game in his interview. He was asked about comments from Getafe’s fitness coach Javier Vidal that muscle is needed to succeed in the modern game and admitted it was not a view he shared.
“I don’t see it like that. In football it’s better to have a brain and think a second before the opponent to get ahead of what they will do. I prefer to have a brain to muscle.”
Pedri is back at Barcelona after playing for the Spain Under-21 team over the international break. The teenager came on at half-time of Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Kazakhstan and put on a show, according to Mundo Deportivo’s Xavier Bosch.
His performance is unlikely to have gone unnoticed by Koeman and his coaching staff at the Camp Nou and will only strengthen his claim for more minutes at Barca in 2020-21.
Koeman Already Impressed by Pedri
Koeman already seems very happy with his new star. He has chosen to bring him on ahead of Ousmane Dembele in Barcelona’s fixtures this season and has not been let down by the youngster.
According to Juan Jimenez at AS, the new Barcelona boss has been “impressed with his ability to always choose the right option.” Koeman also likes Pedri’s composure, maturity, and ability to solve problems on the pitch.
It’s only very early days in his Barcelona but it seems that Pedri has got off to a fine start at the Camp Nou. There was talk that the 17-year-old could go out on loan at the start of the campaign, but he’s already showing why Barca were so keen to keep hold of him.