Spain fell on their feet at Wembley to an Italy that asked for the time and found a prize in the penalty lottery. It was a gray night, not black, due to the elimination of the tournament, staying one step away from the final, but there is still everything that the human group that Luis Enrique took for this European event remains. La Roja came out strengthened, each and every one of the footballers who were in action left their mark, to a greater or lesser extent. There was one who uncovered as a revelation, a young man named Pedri González .
Already at the end of May, when Luis Enrique announced the list of 24 internationals that would accompany him during this Euro 2020 , there were critical voices about his call. The name of Pedri , with only 18 years old, surprised. He had completed a superb year with Barça, of immediate consecration, but he was still a boy who took away from other more veteran players. The man from Gijón did not doubt it, you had your reasons.
Six games later, the one from Tegueste has released Pedrimanía . The midfielder has missed just one minute of this entire European Championship with Spain in which three overtime periods have been played. It was in the game against Switzerland, on the horn, when Luis Enrique took him out at the last minute. It was the only moment in which Pedri was not on the field while Spain competed.
The young man shows overwhelming maturity at just 18 years old. One of those football appearances that are here to stay, break records and break the mold. In an increasingly physical football, magicians with a top hat like Pedri make the spectator fall in love, makes them enter a dream state while the footballer has the ball, and dances with it. The culé does not stand out for his speed but he does for that innate condition with which he dominates the space and reads each play.
For many, the great surprise with the midfielder has been his perseverance, not only in the level of his football that is always remarkably high, but also in terms of his resistance. Pedri has not stopped running in the six matches that Spain has played in this tournament despite the heavy load of matches that he brought with his club. He has finished several of the games in first place in the kilometers traveled, being a supporter of the center of the field and very attentive to each coverage he had to do to Jordi Alba and his forays down the left.
«Dani Olmo has played a book game, incredible. But has anyone noticed the Eurocup that an 18-year-old like Pedr i has done? I have not even seen Iniesta, Don Andrés Iniesta “, was the forceful phrase that Luis Enrique used after the match against Italy to talk about the youngest of his gang, whom he compared with the football of Albacete at just 18 years old , with the scorer of the goal that gave the Spanish team their first World Cup.
But Pedri’s exhibition crossed borders and raised compliments and admiration all over the world. From length to width of the globe, the Eurocup that was marked in Tegueste has penetrated among footballers, coaches, analysts and fans from all over the world. Qualified voices like Gary Lineker , who wrote on his networks that “Pedri is sooo good. An absolute superstar in the making. A magnificent footballer ».
Pedri is soooo good. Absolute superstar in the making. Gorgeous footballer.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) July 6, 2021
Rory Smith , a journalist for the prestigious New York Times also surrendered to Spanish football, whom he foreshadowed as one of the players of the next decade and winner of a good number of individual titles: « How many Ballons d’Or will Pedri win if he does not suffer? serious injury? I say three, but it could be many more ».
Pedri’s display was such against Italy, the trigger for this wave of admiration, that he only missed two passes in the entire match. In the first 90 minutes, before extra time, the midfielder gave 55 passes without missing one , fifty-five passes. They are barbaric numbers in a game like the one that was played against Italy, where the pressure was suffocating in all areas of the field, especially where the youngster from La Roja tends to tread. Pedri finished the match with 65 successful passes out of 67 after the extra half hour that was played after the 1-1.