• Barcelona teenage star Pedri was handed his first Spanish national team call-up
  • Head coach Luis Enrique has high hopes for Pedri
  • Barca manager Ronald Koeman sees a bright future in the 18-year-old standout

After an impressive senior team debut season with Barcelona, Pedri will look to extend his fine form on the international stage.

Pedri emerged as one of Ronald Koeman’s breakout stars in Barcelona this season. With two goals and three assists to his name, he has been lauded by Spanish media as Lionel Messi’s new co-star.

Now, the teenage midfield sensation is set for an even bigger challenge as he has been promoted to Spain's senior squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo, ESPN reported.

Addressing Pedri’s call-up, Spanish national team’s head coach Luis Enrique hopes the youngster could continue his remarkable performances when he represents the country in the qualifiers.

“In Pedri, we’ve seen a player with the ideal conditions to play in the midfield,” Enrique told reporters including Sports Illustrated in a recent press conference. “He’s a player that positions himself incredibly well. I think he can give us a lot. And something that should be appreciated and valued is his balance between attack and defense.”

“I think what’s best for Pedri is to continue resembling himself since he’s already important enough to start most games at his club and to be called up to the national team ahead of a European tournament,” he added.

Many are convinced that 18-year-old’s game fairly resembles that of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta. Pedri himself once admitted that he fancies becoming like the Spanish football icon in the current Barca team.

But for Enrique, the soccer prodigy must focus on developing his own style of playing.

“And regarding Iniesta [comparisons], he’s a huge name,” the renowned coach pointed out. “Of course, he looks up to him because they play in a similar position and I’m sure he will learn a lot if he watches closely what Iniesta used to do. But Pedri needs to be Pedri.”

Luis Enrique
Luis Enrique is seeking to guide Barcelona to the Champions League semifinals in his first season in charge. Reuters

Koeman, on the other hand, has long been a believer of Pedri. In fact, the Barcelona manager has predicted a “great future” ahead of his midfielder way before he became a key figure in the club.

“From what I have seen of him, he is an example of how someone should handle being very good at this age,” Koeman said of Pedri earlier this season.

“As a coach, we give him opportunities and advice, but he is a boy who comes from a very humble family and he knows what should be doing to improve and what should he not think that he is already there,” he continued. “He has a great future, but he must continue working.”