Tactical Insights

FC Barcelona’s ‘New Messi’, 10, Set For Subject Of Argentina-Spain War

Argentina and Spain’s football federations (the AFA and RFEF) will compete for a 10-year-old in Barca’s La Masia academy, Pedro Juarez, who is already being dubbed the ‘new Messi’ in some corners.

Pedro is registered with Barca’s U10’s in the Catalan youth leagues, and has scored 38 goals in 26 matches so far this season.

Born in the Argentine city of Salta, his family arrived in Barcelona in 2020 and it didn’t take long for the number 4 to attract the attention of Blaugrana scouts.

‘Pedrito’, as he is often called, went viral a year later with a sensational solo goal where he dribbled the length of the pitch.

The strike earned him not just comparison to his idol Lionel Messi, but also a sponsorship deal with Nike


As the youngster continues to progress, he has already caught the attention of those back in his homeland as shown in comments made by Argentine commentator Jorge D’Alessandro that Mundo Deportivo relayed.

“There is an Argentinian boy in Barcelona, from the 2014 age category, of whom I have already notified the AFA to warn them [so that they won’t] take him away from us,” D’Alessandro said, in a dig at the RFEF.

“He has a knack for receiving the ball and a peripheral view of the game. A decision-making ability and [a way] to verify at all times what is the ideal pass, which for those of us who have great criteria to observe makes him a player of the future,” D’Alessandro added.

As the analyst indicated, Pedrito is highly likely to become the subject of a tug of war between the country of his birth and current country of residence just like Messi in his younger years.

In recent times, we have seen a similar case with another La Masia pearl in Lamine Yamal, who has also drawn comparisons to Messi but chose to play for Spain as opposed to his father’s country Morocco.

Back to Pedrito, Mundo Deportivo explains that there are already plans from the AFA to call him up to their national team’s U-15s as a way of claiming his services early.

Ultimately, however, there is an awful lot of road ahead in that the prodigy first has to turn professional and then make three senior appearances for a national team before it can keep him permanently as per FIFA rules.

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