Barca star Pedri hails Lionel Messi as the greatest player of all time

‘When I saw him as a little boy, he was the best’: Barcelona’s star midfielder Pedri hails Lionel Messi as the greatest player of all time after playing with him as a youngster, as the 20-year-old talks of emulating his idol by winning the World Cup one day

  • Despite being just 20-years-old, Pedri has become a key player for Barcelona
  • The midfielder names his former teammate Lionel Messi as the ‘best’ ever
  • He hopes to emulate the Argentine legend by winning the World Cup  

Lionel Messi has received further backing of his status as the world’s greatest player by one of the up and coming stars bidding to one day replace him as the best in the game.

Spain midfielder Pedri started his career alongside Argentine Messi in the famous blue and red of Barcelona three years ago.

And the heir to Messi’s throne at the Camp Nou believes his ex-colleague’s December World Cup win with the South Americans justified his Best FIFA award earlier this week, as well as ending the GOAT debate with former Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Pedri said: ‘I have always been clear on this. Since I saw Leo as a little boy he was the best. And when I had the opportunity to play with him he confirmed it to me.

‘We already saw in the World Cup what he is capable of doing and what he has been doing for many years. I messaged him to congratulate him, but I think his phone was blowing up!’

Despite being just 20-years-old, Pedri has become a key player for Barcelona

He names former Barca teammate Lionel Messi as the best player of all time

Messi turns 36 this summer and Pedri, 20 is at the forefront of players tipped to succeed him as the world’s best in the not-too-distant future.

‘Hopefully I can win it one day,’ he smiled. ‘It is very complicated as there is a lot of competition with very good people like [Erling] Haaland and [Kylian] Mbappe, but obviously we work for challenges like this.’

Other rivals to the crown include England’s Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala in Germany, but Pedri welcomes the competition.

He added: ‘They are two amazing players, real stars. The three of us are at a great level, but there are many more top quality players.

‘We are seeing Gavi [here at Barca], who is crazily good, Gabri Veiga [at Celta Vigo], who is having a great time at the moment too. They are players who have a lot of talent and people will be talking a lot about them.’

Pedri’s importance to Barcelona in the wake of Messi’s switch to Paris St Germain can not be under-estimated.

Since the Spain star sustained a hamstring injury in the home leg of Barca’s Europa League tie against Manchester United, they won just one of their four following matches.

Their win percentage with the young maestro is up at 90%, but it drops to 57% without him.

Pedri credits a lot of his success to his family as much as his team-mates, coaches and huge army of supporters for club and country.

The Argentine legend moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 and recently passed 700 career club goals

Pedri hopes to emulate Messi by winning the World Cup and has already become a key figure in the Spain side

The youngster praised fellow La Liga stars Gavi (also Barca) and Gabri Veiga (Celta Vigo) as players to watch

He explained: ‘My family always helps me. They try to help me keep a cool head, keep my feet on the ground and be calm.

‘I live day to day as I have always done. I try not to hear too much praise.

‘I was once told that flattery weakens. I think that’s a very good motto. I know that I have a lot of room for improvement and that I have to work harder because when you stop doing it, someone else is working to be better than you.’

Pedri was speaking as a global brand ambassador for TCL. #InspireGreatness @TCL_Global. More details here

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