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Pedri talks Messi, Koeman’s faith in him, and life in Barcelona

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Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

In an interview with Sport, Ronald Koeman’s favourite youngster Pedri spoke about many subjects. The soon-to-be 18-year-old is one of the hottest youngsters on the planet thanks to his recent sublime performances with Barcelona.

“I’m enjoying it all, it’s a really nice sensation. You’re far from the people that love you, but I’m doing what I like, which is playing football.”

“When I came, I was a player who had been playing in the second division. I didn’t have as much experience and I came to acquire that as soon as possible, to try and stay here with effort and hard work.”

Pedri | Sport

Leaving your hometown for bigger and shinier opportunities is not an easy task. At 17, Pedri has shown that he is mature enough to play football at the highest level. The midfielder has impressed at Camp Nou and it is a true testament to his hard work. If he keeps that form, he might become untouchable in Koeman’s eleven.

“I always watch the game again to see where I made mistakes. I focus more on what I did wrong than what I did right. That is the best way to improve.”

“Goalscoring is something I have to improve. Physically too, I am working on it. All to be better in the future.”

Pedri | Sport

The 17-year-old is a dedicated player. He has worked day and night to get where he is and there is no sign of complacency from him. If he is that good at 17, his hard work will reward him and, who knows, one day he will become one of the best in the world. This motivation to reach the top is healthy and beneficial for a youngster like Pedri.

However, Pedri’s abilities could not have developed without his coach’s faith in him. Koeman decided to start Pedri in big games, as well as the Juventus game he touched upon. Starting El Clasico and getting his first games in La Liga and the Champions League is thanks to the Dutch manager’s faith in him:

“From day one he told me I had to work very hard because it is hard to stay at Barça. I’ve shown him that I am able to play here, and he has backed me by playing me in important games. I have to be grateful to him and keep working.”

“I was really happy to play in El Clasico. It’s a dream that you have as a kid since you see it on TV. I was lucky and I’m grateful to Koeman and my teammates for making it easy for me to play.”

Pedri | Sport

“It was quite special to see Messi in person, as it is with everyone. But as the days pass, he’s a normal guy and a friend in the dressing room. It’s great to play games, train and learn from the best player in the world.”

Pedri | Sport

Learning from Lionel Messi is a true privilege. The youngster has got a really talented crop of players surrounding him. His hard work comes from the veterans mentoring him, and La Pulga has done just that. Everybody can spot his enormous potential, and Leo is no stranger to that. After the Juve game, Paulo Dybala asked for his shirt. If Pedri keeps on working that hard and stays on Messi’s good books, he could become the student the Argentine legend was to Ronaldinho.

As a Lebanese teenager who never had the chance to support their local team, I fell in love with the club that was FC Barcelona at the start of the decade. I always was passionate about writing and this is exactly what I am looking for: sharing my insights and opinions on football.