The 19th edition of Tuttsport’s Golden Boy award has been won by Barcelona midfielder Pedri, with the 18-year-old taking this annual prize for the best Europe-based talent under the age of 21.
There were 40 journalists voting for this year’s award and 26 of them placed Pedri first, while another nine put him second and three put him third. In other words, only two of the journalists voting didn’t have him on their podium.
This meant that Pedri finished with 318 total points, well ahead of the second-placed Jude Bellingham. Never in the history of the award has there been such a gap between first and second.
“I thank Tuttosport for this trophy, which makes me proud, and I also thank all the members of the jury and the fans who have always supported me in what has been an incredible 2021 for me,” the player said in a video message.
“Of course, I also thank Barcelona, the Spanish national team, my family, my friends and all those who have been close to me day after day. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to win the Golden Boy award.”
He’ll collect the prize at a ceremony in Turin on December 13, taking the award that Erling Haaland was given in 2020.
Barcelona released a statement of their own to congratulate the teenager.
“Pedri was unstoppable in the race to become the Golden Boy,” they said.
“Game after game, Pedri has been developing at an extraordinary rate, and that’s even despite having to contend with injury problems. The Canary Islander played more minutes for Barcelona than anyone else in 2020/21, and was exceptional in all of them.
“He took no time at all to adapt to football at the highest level, and played 52 competitive games in that year. Only Bojan played a half century of Barcelona games at a younger age.
“Counting international games, he played 73 games, including Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics, where he was a silver medallist, so he played more games than anyone else in Europe’s top leagues.
“But it is not just quantity, it’s also the quality. Delightful passing, exquisite dribbling, magnificent positioning, magical combinations, quick decisions, goals and defensive work, this player has it all.”