Pedri credited Ballon d’Or winner and superstar Lionel Messi for helping him become a better player after claiming the Kopa Trophy.
Barcelona and Spain midfielder Pedri received the Kopa Trophy on Monday following a superb year for club and country, while Messi scooped a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or.
The Kopa Trophy is presented to the best player under the age of 21, with Barca sensation Pedri only turning 19 on November 25.
Pedri enjoyed a fine season with Barca before leading Spain to the Euro 2020 semi-finals and featuring in the country’s run to an Olympic Games silver medal.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 29, 2021
Afterwards, Pedri heaped praise on his former Barca team-mate Messi, who left Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain at the start of the season.
“Messi helped me a lot in my career and made me a better player,” Pedri told reporters following the ceremony in Paris.
“It was fantastic to learn from a player like Lionel Messi.
“It was a spectacular year, and I am super happy with how things went. I think I improved as a player and a person.”
On Messi’s high-profile Barca exit, Pedri added: “Leo was an important player and the best player in the world. I just have to carry on playing and doing what I do at Barcelona.”
Thanks to everyone who has made this possible! Congrats Alexia&Leo. You made history! pic.twitter.com/NFscyrShjF
— Pedri González (@Pedri) November 29, 2021
Pedri was also named on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, finishing 24th in the overall rankings.
“Well every player wants to win the Ballon d’Or. That’s something that all footballers dream of having,” he said.
“But I have to be the best player I can and to carry in improving and working before I can on day hope to get that trophy.”