Real Madrid rejected Barcelona starlet Pedri but Spaniard finds prize in playing with Messi

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Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Pedri (3R) celebrates teammates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match between FC Barcelona and Ferencvarosi TC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 20, 2020. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Barcelona chaos

The signing of Pedri from Las Palmas in the previous transfer window provided a glimmer of hope that Barcelona may finally be learning from their mistakes. Having overspent on the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho, the gradual decline of the Blaugrana has been all too easy to see.

Their rivals, Real Madrid, continued to spend big on players but their tactic of buying establish stars such as Ronaldo, Kaka, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale has changed. The arrival of Eden Hazard was an anomaly within the proactive decisions to buy young talent.

Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos, Theo Hernandez, Alvaro Odriozola, Brahim Diaz, Juka Jovic, Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy. To name slightly more than just a few. Some have been successes, some failures and the jury is still out on some but Real closed the gap and overtook Barcelona whilst also picking up a Champions League trophy beyond the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Zinedine Zidane

MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 27: Head coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid CF looks to the trophy as he celebrates with his team at Cibeles Square a day after winning their 13th European Cup and UEFA Champions League Final on May 27, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Barcelona have been in turmoil. Messi controversies, Presidential upheaval and strange transfer deals seeing 23-year-old fan favourite Arthur leave for Juventus with 30-year-old Miralem Pjanic arriving at greater expense.

Recently, former director Javier Bordas has even spoke of how the club turned down the chance to sign the likes of Erling Haaland, Dani Olmo, Alvaro Morata and Ferran Torres.

Things need to change and the signing of Pedri, along with Trincao and the emergence of Ansu Fati from the academy could be signs that they are.

Pedri ‘p****d’

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Pedri has been given opportunities by new coach Ronald Koeman in the senior side. The 17-year-old will be looking at the success of Ansu Fati as a model to follow. Scoring twice in 10 senior appearances so far, things could have been very different for the Spaniard.

Having left Las Palmas last summer, Pedri had previously been rejected by Barca rivals Real Madrid.

“I was on trial for a week at Madrid, they told me I wasn’t good enough,” Pedri said to Cadena Ser. “They took me to an office and they told me, and I was a bit p****d off, but it served to keep me working and improving.”

“Thanks to them, now I’m at the team I always wanted to be at. Since I was little I’ve been a Barca fan.”

Pedri also spoke about what it is like to play with Lionel Messi from such a young age. “You never get used to seeing the moves Messi makes.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 04: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona waves to the crowd prior to the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

“Not just Messi, all team-mates surprise you. To be able to learn from them is a luxury. To see the things Messi does… he does what he wants and when he wants to. You see him on TV and on the PlayStation and then to see him in real life makes an impression.”

“To play with Messi is a prize that life has given me.”

Barcelona return to action with a huge clash against Atletico Madrid at 20:00 on Saturday 21st November.

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