Pedri during the Copa del Rey match between Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou, Barcelona, January 2023.

Pedri’s gravity-defying skill would’ve made Issac Newton eat the apple

Let’s face it, very few of us were impressive individuals aged 20.

For some, the first year of your third decade was spent at university and combining the bare minimum of academic strain with maximum alcohol-induced embarrassment.

Others have found a solid job, living at home and saving money to buy their own place. Fair enough, but nobody in this position is as mature or wise as they believe themselves to be.

A smaller minority are back-packing around exotic locations, broadening the mind but yet to discover their true purpose in life.

But Pedri is an exception; while his contemporaries are finding their feet, the Barcelona midfielder is busy re-defining gravity.

His moment of scientific realisation came on a dank afternoon at Girona. With the La Liga leaders toiling, Pedri was struggling to shake off the attention of Miguel Gutierrez.

A blindside run looked set to reach a frustrating conclusion when Pedri lost his balance and stumbled to the turf. His team-mates would’ve been forgiven for puffing their cheeks and trotting back into position for the inevitable goal-kick.

But, what happened next should define our understanding of gravity as much as Issac Newton watching a Pink Lady descend from its tree; scrabbling around on his arse, Pedri extended his right leg and placed his foot on the far side of the moon.

Stopping the ball dead, the Spain international somehow regained his balance and sped away from Gutierrez, who was left looking like a fire engine tearing towards the wrong fire.

It’s a good job Newton died 200 years ago; he’d have had such a hard time explaining what Pedri had just done that the scientist would be left wishing he’d have just eaten that goddamn apple.

“Pedri is a difference maker,” Xavi said after scuttling away from the home of their Catalan opponents with maximum points.

“He looks between the lines and attacks the spaces. Add goals to that, and we’re talking about one of the best midfielders in the world at 20 years old.

“And he still has to do more in the last pass. But not only Pedri; also Gavi, [Frenkie] De Jong, [Sergio] Busquets, and [Franck] Kessie when he plays.”

Playing his 100th game for Barcelona, Pedri marked the occasion by scoring the winning goal that took Barca six points clear at the La Liga summit.

He wasn’t even supposed to play; the midfielder had picked up a knock during the Copa del Rey victory over Real Sociedad and Xavi had looked to protect his young maestro by placing him on the bench.

But an early injury to Ousmane Dembele changed the provisional script. Pedri’s introduction provided Barca with a much-needed energy boost and helped turn an under-par team performance into success.

Regardless of whether Barcelona win the league, this Saturday afternoon in January will always be remembered as the day where Pedri challenged our understanding of gravity.

Pretty impressive, you’ll surely agree. And considerably more impressive than your achievements as a 20-year-old.

By Michael Lee

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