Pedri breaks Rooney record in dramatic Spain win

Spain midfielder Pedri broke a 17-year long record set by Wayne Rooney in his side’s dramatic 5-3 victory over Croatia in the last 16 stage of Euro 2020.

Luis Enrique’s side needed extra time to defeat the Croatians, having conceded two late goals after being 3-1 up in normal time.

But they dominated much of the final 30 minute period, with Alvaro Morata putting them back in front with a superb half volley.

The victory was then sealed when Mikel Oyarzabal added a fifth goal three minutes later.

Pedri’s new record

Pedri put in another top performance to help his side into the quarter-finals – that despite being credited with a bizarre first half own goal when Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon was unable to control his 49-yard backpass.

The midfielder also created a piece of history. At the age of 18 years and 215 days, Pedri broke Wayne Rooney’s 17-year record in becoming the youngest player ever to start a European Championship knockout game.

Euro 2004 was Rooney’s breakout tournament on the major international stage.

He scored four goals in the group stages before England were knocked out of the tournament by Portugal in the quarter-finals.

Two months later, he moved to Manchester United from Everton for the highest fee ever paid for a player under 20 at the time.

Pedri is following in Rooney’s footsteps in becoming a growing force at both club and international level.

He has started all four games that Spain have played throughout Euro 2020, having only made his international debut back in March.

The Barcelona midfielder was also highly impressive in LaLiga last season, with comparisons already being made with Barca icon Andres Iniesta.

Spain manager Luis Enrique has heaped praise on the 18-year-old, calling him a “unique player”.

He said (via Sport): “There are times when facts define a situation much better than words.

“Pedri is a unique player, totally different to what else we have. He can seem a shy player, but he has humour.

“He’s even a breath of fresh air when he plays table tennis and from what I’ve seen he’s very good at that too.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty