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Lionel Messi was like a proud father watching 19-year-old Pedri collect the Kopa Trophy at the 2021 Ballon d'Or award ceremony.
Pedri beat off competition from the likes of Jude Bellingham and Mason Greenwood to be crowned the best young player following a stellar breakthrough season at Barcelona.
The midfielder played 52 games in his first season at Barca and was one of the team's top performers alongside Messi.
He then shone at Euro 2020 during Spain's run to the semi-finals, before representing La Roja in the Olympic football tournament to end up on 73 appearances for the campaign.
Messi took the former Las Palmas youth player under his wing during his final season at Barca and Pedri thanked the six-time Ballon d'Or winner in his speech.
Pedri: ‘I want to thank everyone who has supported me, and I want to thank Messi who is also here.’ ❤️ pic.twitter.com/b6mrE1EIVg— MessiTeam (@Lionel10Team) November 29, 2021
📸 - Leo Messi during Pedri’s speech, in which he thanked Messi for helping him win it. pic.twitter.com/j5lIPsLWbU— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) November 29, 2021
Pedri won!! Look at Leo Messi’s smile 😊 pic.twitter.com/Xd0hJyG1rg— MsBarca (@MzBarca1) November 29, 2021
The Argentine displayed a beaming smile and was quite clearly so happy to see Pedri get the recognition he deserves.
Messi is the favourite to win an unprecedented seventh Ballon d'Or later on in the ceremony in Paris.
The two only shared one season playing alongside one another and it took Pedri a bit to get used to sharing the pitch
"When I was next to him I was very shocked to see him," Mundo Deportivo.
"To watch it on TV or in a video game… I hardly believed it. Playing with Messi is easy because when you give it to him you know things are going to happen."
Pedri has been compared to Spain and Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, who he idolised growing up.
In fact, Pedri even wanted to go bald so he would look like him - until his dad intervened.
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