NXGN star Pedri not setting future goals ahead of potential Spain debut

NXGN star Pedri not setting future goals ahead of potential Spain debut

The 18-year-old has been included in Luis Enrique’s squad for La Roja’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers and could yet be in contention for Euro 2020

Barcelona midfielder Pedri insists he does not set future goals for himself as he prepares to potentially make his Spain debut.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed a superb breakout season at Camp Nou, with his form earning him a fourth-place finish in Goal’s NXGN list of the top 50 footballing wonderkids for 2021.

Pedri’s meteoric rise also saw him earn a first call-up to the senior international ranks, with the former Las Palmas starlet now in a position to make his bow for Luis Enrique’s side against Greece in Thursday’s World Cup qualifier.

What was said?

“I don’t like setting goals for the future,” Pedri told Goal in an exclusive interview following his inclusion on the NXGN 2021 list.

“I always try to improve day by day and get ahead by working more than the rest. I only think about continuing to grow with Barcelona.”

On the prospect of representing Spain at Euro 2020 this summer, he added: “It is a dream, and I hope it happens, but I have to keep my feet on the ground and keep working.”

How likely is Pedri to play at Euro 2020?

If that question had been asked at the start of the season, the chances would have been exceedingly low, given Pedri had only made his debut for Spain Under-21s in September.

However, over the course of the campaign, he has grown into one of La Liga’s outstanding creative midfielders, with his relationship with Lionel Messi having particularly caught the eye.

As a result, he now has a real chance of being included in La Roja’s squad for the European Championship, particularly if he impresses in Spain’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo.

He is likely to face tough competition for a place, however, with the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Koke, Fabian Ruiz, Saul Niguez, Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente all fighting it out for midfield berths.

Who won NXGN 2021?

Though Pedri finished fourth on the NXGN list for 2021, he was not the highest-placed Barcelona player, with that honour going to the winner of the men’s award, Ansu Fati.

Fati beat off stiff competition from Eduardo Camavinga, Gio Reyna and team-mate Pedri to become the sixth male winner, following in the footsteps of the likes of Jadon Sancho, Gigi Donnarumma and Rodrygo.

Pedri’s fellow Barca midfielder Ilaix Moriba also made the list, placing 50th after recently becoming a regular in Ronald Koeman’s matchday squad.

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