“The next Messi? We already have it. His name is Pellegri.”
These were the words of the Genoa chairman Enrico Preziosi who was the first one to recognise huge potential two years ago in then the 14-year-old boy Pietro Pellegri.
Regarded as one of Italy’s most promising young strikers, Pellegri has hit headlines last weekend after scoring a brace in Genoa’s 3-2 defeat to Lazio. It would have been just another brace though, hadn’t it been for the record young Italian striker crushed on Sunday afternoon.
Pietro Pellegri became the youngest player in Serie A history to score two goals in one match at 16 years and 184 days.
His feat proved too much for his father and Genoa assistant coach Marco Pellegri, who sat in the dugout, struggling to contain his emotions. Pellegri senior was reduced to tears of joy as he watched his own flesh and blood make history before his very own eyes. Restlessly moving up and down the Genoa bench Marco Pellegri must have remembered the words he said earlier: “The day [my son] Pietro steps out at Marassi wearing a Genoa shirt I can go ahead and die, because it will mean that I have seen everything.”
Marco got more than he bargained for and could have dreamt about though.
The story of young Pietro Pellegri comes as an expressive reminder of what football really is all about in this emotionally barren corporate football which is starting to drain out all feelings other than those of affection for the green bills.
You don’t have to twist my arm on it, I confess to being a soppy football romantic and a proper fool for stories like these. But Pietro’s record-breaking and tear-falling story is much more than a fool’s tale.
It’s a testament to quality, talent and ability which all make young Pellegri a star in the making and highly likely the next big thing in world football.
Pellegri’s Sunday record is by no means the first time this 16-year-old lad has hit headlines. His impressive displays have been generating plenty of attention in Italy and all of those who failed to watch in action thus far will find solace in numbers which provide plenty of backing for the previously stated claim.
And just to make it even stronger and bolder here goes – Pietro Pellegri is a lad predestined for success.
Genoa gem stepped on the path of success on 19 March 2015 when – two days after his birthday – the U-15 coach Andrea Rocca rewarded him with a place in the team. Pellegri grabbed the chance firmly with both hands and went on to quickly move up the ladder on the brink of Genoa’s first team.
Months later, on 20 November 2016, at 15 years and 280 days Pietro became the youngest player to start a Serie A match thus breaking the record previously set in 1937 and held by Amadeo Amadei.
His brace against Lazio is not the first time Pellegri got his name on the scoresheet. He did it on the last day of the previous campaign at Stadio Olimpico against AS Roma is a match that marked the end of the career for great Francesco Totti. Genoa suffered a 3-2 defeat at the legend’s farewell match which Pellegri will have one great reason to remember.
A boy who grew up on ‘bread and Genoa’ is living a dream at his hometown club. Not thinking about undeniably bright future lying in front of him, Pellegri will continue to have fun on the pitch as Europe’s biggest clubs continue to circle around him.
Manchester United reportedly made an approach for his back in 2015 after watching him lead Genoa to the final of a youth tournament hosted by Red Devils whereas Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan are all tangled in a transfer tussle for the Genoa talent.
Serie A champions and Inter Milan have reportedly reached an agreement with Genoa about the possible sale of Pellegri in January, whereas AC Milan stepped in by making an arrangement with the player’s agent on the last day of the summer transfer window.
AC Milan launched a last-ditch attempt to steal Pellegri in front of Inter Milan and Juventus, trying to persuade Genoa to sell Pellegri. Whatever happens, Pellegri will have a number of options to choose from.
It’s up to his to train hard and continue to score goals for Genoa. And he will have the very first chance to do so on Sunday at home when his club meets Chievo.
Pellegri is available at 11/5 betting odds to continue the scoring spree.
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