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Pedri's Perfect Performance For Spain Vs Italy Proves He Is The Heir To Andres Iniesta's Throne

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Pedri's Perfect Performance For Spain Vs Italy Proves He Is The Heir To Andres Iniesta's Throne

18-year-old Pedri was the best player on the pitch in Spain's Euro 2020 semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy at Wembley.

The Azzurri marched on to the final with a 4-2 win on spot-kicks, with Jorginho casually rolling in the winning penalty after Alvaro Morata saw his effort saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Pedri was in tears as Italy celebrated and had to be consoled by teammate Thiago Alcantara. But the Barcelona midfielder can be immensely proud of the way he has performed this tournament.

Image: PA
Image: PA
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The youngest member of their squad, he was quite possibly their best player at the Euros and his final game of the competition provided further evidence that he is a generational talent.

He was ridiculously good in midfield, playing a plethora of outrageous passes through the lines and creating chances for his teammates.

Pedri managed a simply absurd pass accuracy of 97% in the 120 minutes. He completed EVERY single one of his passes in normal time - 55/55 - and it was only in extra time where he misplaced two and ended up with a tally of 65/67.

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The former Las Palmas man's highlights from the semi-final are utterly joyous. The way he moves, with that low sense of gravity, is just mesmeric and you can't help but feel he is going to transform into a very special player.

This was his 66th game of the season for club and country and so to perform at such a level is outstanding.

After the game, manager Luis Enrique paid Pedri the ultimate compliment when he compared him to the legendary Andres Iniesta, who was a key member of Spain's World Cup and European Championship sides in addition to being Barca's midfield metronome for years.

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"For me Dani Olmo today played an incredible game, something out of the ordinary," Enrique said, as per ESPN.

"But what Pedri has done in this tournament, at 18, no one has done, not even Andres Iniesta did that, it's incredible, unique."

This was a breakout tournament for the diminutive genius and those Iniesta comparisons will keep coming along.

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Albert Benaiges, the man who discovered him, reckons they are carbon copies in terms of playing style and personality.

"He is intelligent. Technically he is very good and although he is not aggressive he works hard," he said, as per talkSPORT.

"In that sense he is a lot like Andres. And they are alike in the way they are as people. They way they get along with team-mates inside the dressing room."

And given he's learning from Lionel Messi in training and on the pitch, we might just be looking at a future Ballon d'Or winner.

Topics: Football, Euro 2020, Barcelona, Spain, Italy

Josh Lawless
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