Pedri backs Spain to build on near misses as Luis Enrique’s men target World Cup glory

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Pedri impressed throughout his first major tournament at Euro 2020, but he wants to help Spain go further at the World Cup in Qatar.

Pedri believes last year’s near misses in the European Championship and the Nations League will benefit Spain in their quest to win a second World Cup this year.

The Barcelona midfielder was named young player of the tournament as Spain were beaten by Italy in the semi-finals of the postponed Euro 2020 before La Roja suffered a Nations League final defeat to France last October.

While Spain have only reached the World Cup finals once in their last 13 appearances – winning the tournament in 2010 – Pedri is optimistic about their chances of taking part in Qatar.

Asked by Mundo Deportivo if Luis Enrique’s side could win the tournament, the 19-year-old replied: “Why not?

“First you have to focus on the group stage and then the following rounds, but we have the squad to be able to compete.

“We are coming from the European Championship and the Nations League where we did very well. We got to the semi-finals at the Euros and I was confident that if we got to the final we would win it.

“I couldn’t play in the Nations League but the team was very good. We are a very good group and it shows on the pitch.

“We don’t have a mega star, the group is our best star. When you all run together and everyone knows what they want and what you’re playing for, I think you’ve got a lot going for you and you have a great chance to win.

“We are going to the World Cup with everything, with a great desire to give happiness to the fans, whether they support us from home or from Qatar. Let’s give it everything.”

Pedri believes the two South American sides could represent Spain’s main rivals in Qatar, with the form of Paris Saint-Germain star and Barca legend Lionel Messi likely to be crucial to any Argentina challenge.

“I think Brazil and Argentina have two great teams,” Pedri said. “Brazil because they have the incredible quality of their players and Argentina because they have the best player and I think they will really want to win this World Cup.”

Spain open their World Cup campaign against Costa Rica next Wednesday before facing fellow Group E foes Germany and Japan.

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