Tuttsport’s 19th edition of Golden Boy’s trophy was won by Barcelona midfielder Pedri, 18, who took home the annual European Under-21 Talent Award. Forty journalists voted for this year’s award, 26 of which put Pedri ahead, nine more, and two third. In other words, only two voting journalists did not have him on the podium.
That meant Pedri finished with 318 points, second only to Jude Bellingham. In the history of the medal, there has never been such a gap between the first and the second.
“I thank Tuttosport for this trophy, which makes me proud, and I thank all the members of the judiciary and the fans who have been supporting me in this wonderful 2021 year for me,” the player said in a video message.
“Yes, I also thank Barcelona, the Spanish national team, my family, my friends, and all those who were close to me every day. Without them, I would not have been able to win the Golden Boy award.”
He will pick up the award at an event in Turin on December 13, taking the Erling Haaland award given to him in 2020. Barcelona has released a statement congratulating the youngster.
“Pedri was not in the race for the Golden Boy,” they said.
“Game by game, Pedri was progressing at an incredible rate, and that even though he had to deal with injury problems. Canary Islander played more minutes in Barcelona than anyone else in 2020/21, and it was special in all of them.
“He never took the time to adapt to football at the highest level, and he played 52 competitive games that year. Bojan was the only player to play Barcelona for a century in his youth.
“If we count the international games, you have played 73 games, including Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics, where they won a silver medal, so you have played more games than anyone in the top European leagues.
“But not just the price, but also the quality. Happy passing, happy play, good posture, a combination of magic, quick decisions, goals, and defensive work, this player has it all.”