Spain went out of the Euros on Tuesday following a penalty shootout defeat against Italy. They had reached the semi-finals on the back of a Unai Simon special in another penalty shootout. However, Dani Olmo’s horrific miss was followed by Gianluigi Donnarumma saving Alvaro Morata’s penalty which gave Italy the win.
Spain had a good tournament overall considering all the criticism faced by Luis Enrique regarding his squad selection and line-ups. No one expected them to reach the semi-final stage and although they didn’t face any major team until that stage, they did fairly well overall.
One of their standout players was 18-year-old Pedri. Eyebrows were raised when a midfielder of the ilk of Thiago Alcantara was left out during the first match against Sweden but as the tournament progressed, Pedri showed his class. He was the best player in most of the matches for Spain.
Even in the final game against Italy, he completed all 31 of his passes in the first half and had a tremendous impact on Spain’s domination of the midfield battle. While this still doesn’t justify leaving out Thiago as the Liverpool midfielder should be a part of the trio in one or another way. But Pedri’s performances didn’t do any bad to his reputation.
Luis Enrique had a lot of good things to say about Pedri following their defeat against Italy.
“Well, I think no 18-year-old has done what Pedri has done in any major competition, whether it’s the Euros, the World Cup or the Olympics,” he said.
“His performances, the way he reads the game, the way he finds space, his quality, his personality, I’ve never seen anything like that, not even Andres Iniesta.
It’s absolutely impossible to explain.”
Pedri was spotted being consoled by Luis Enrique and Thiago after the match ended and took to Twitter after the match to express his feelings on the loss.
“The end has been hard, but the experience of these last weeks has been unforgettable. Thanks, from (the heart) to those who have made it possible, especially colleagues and friends, and also to the fans for their support. Do not hesitate … WE WILL GET STRONGER”