Pedri was honoured with the European Golden boy award in Turin on Saturday and the Barcelona midfielder admitted that Real Madrid helped him become the player he is today.
Pedri Gonzalez is the young midfielder the whole world is looking at right now, but his latest revelations have come as a surprise to fans of the Barcelona midfielder.
It is rare to hear or read of any Barcelona player who mentions Real Madrid as an influence in their career following the decades old rivalry between the two biggest clubs in Spain (and the world).
However, the Kopa Trophy winner has spoken of how his time with Los Blancos at the start of his career almost manifested into something more but for strange weather.
Pedri told Tuttosport after collecting his European golden boy award about how he could have been playing for his current club’s biggest rivals.
“When I was 15 years old they [Real Madrid] called me for a trial, but that day there was huge snowfall and it had to be postponed,” Pedri began
“The next day, I took part in some light training with the academy side. Maybe they already had their idea about me, so I went back to Tenerife. However, I would not have rejected Madrid.
“Opportunities must be seized, however they come. Let’s just say something happened, a combination of negative circumstances, and they were the ones that didn’t want to sign me.”
“I am at the best club in the world,” Pedri says
The 19-year-old is currently injured and has barely featured for Barcelona this season, but believes his teammates can turn things around soon.
The Canarian started his career at Juventud Laguna before joining Las Palmas’s academy in 2018. By 2019, he was already a first team player for Las Palmas, at the age of 16.
His episode with Real Madrid happened before Las Palmas, however, but it was with the Canaries that he started getting noticed by several clubs.
Less than a year after the Spanish international signed a four-year contract with Las Palmas, Barcelona came knocking and on September 2 2019, reached an agreement for Pedro’s transfer in the summer of 2020 for €5 million.
He officially made his debut on September 7 2020, replacing Philippe Coutinho in a 4–0 home win against Villarreal in LaLiga.
Despite his admission of being open to a career with Real Madrid, the teenager has claimed that Barcelona was his dream all along.
“Being at Barcelona is a dream for me,” he said after the European golden boy awards. “This is the best club in the world.
Pedri also noted the club’s current struggles. “Though, we must start to show that on the pitch and lead Barça to glory, which we deserve,” he added.
“I am at the club I’ve always wanted to be at. For that I thank president Joan Laporta. It is a club I love and one that gives me maximum happiness.”
Pedri makes Barcelona happy, Cryuff says
Barcelona sports director Jordi Cruyff was one of the Barcelona entourage at the event with Pedri and Barcelona Femeni forward Lieke Martens who won the Golden woman award.
He gave an interview to journalists after the event and stated that the club was very happy with the youngster. “Pedri has personality,” Cryuff said. “He has shown it at a big club with pressure.
“He asks for the ball in difficult situations and has a great future. He deserves the award. He makes his family happy and Barcelona happy.”
Pedri beat Jude Bellingham by a record-breaking 199 points to the award and is the first player out of Barcelona to win the trophy since Cesc Fabregas in 2006.
Real Madrid midfielder Isco Alarcon is the only other Spanish player to have collected the award since its inception in 2003.