The post-Lionel Messi era has begun at Barcelona. It wasn’t a bluff; the Argentine has joined Paris Saint-Germain and will ply his trade in France this season and beyond. In his stead, Ronald Koeman will need second bananas to step up and assume leadership at Camp Nou in what’s sure to be a tough year.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) August 12, 2021
It’s unfair to refer to Pedri as a second banana, but it’s clear that the teenager from the Canary Islands is going to have a bigger role to play in Catalonia this term. He returned to Barcelona training today after an action-packed summer that saw him play nigh-on every minute of La Roja’s Euro 2020 campaign as well as the Olympic Games. He’s young, but that’s a lot of football.
Pedri has astonished with the class he’s displayed at Camp Nou, a place where spotlights don’t shine but sear. How the 18-year-old gets on in his second season in the big-time will be intriguing, a challenge made all the greater given he’s not had a break since the beginning of the 2020/21 season. All lovers of Spanish football will be hoping he isn’t overused and burnt out.