Born in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, Pellistri is an exciting winger with bags of potential, who has been described as a ‘rascal’ on the pitch.
He spent his junior career with La Picada and River Plate Montevideo before linking up with Penarol in 2018, earning a senior debut under former Reds striker and 2010 World Cup Golden Ball-winner Diego Forlan at the tender age of 17, in a game against Defensor Sporting in August 2019.
Forlan counted upon the wide man, who made 20 appearances throughout the campaign, and the teenager even obtained the no.10 shirt before Diego left the club in September 2020. Quickly becoming a key man for Penarol, his surging runs and impressive acceleration earned enormous respect.
“Pellistri has huge potential,” Forlan said earlier this year.”There is still a lot to work on. He is growing and he makes the difference. We know it will be difficult to keep him for a long time. He has great pace and that is hard to handle.”
Another admirer of the youngster is ex-Barcelona star Juan Roman Riquelme who commented: “He is young and talented, he hasn’t played that much but you can see he is a real rascal with the ball at his feet. And that is important. There aren’t many like him around, who have the courage to be so cheeky on the pitch. That is highly valuable.”
Former Lyon midfielder Juninho Pernambucano, who is still working at the club, spoke of the French side’s interest in his talents, earlier this year, and explained: “He already has experience, because to be a starter at Penarol at the age of 18 is not easy. I have played a few times over there and it is a violent league. At 18, he is handling himself.”
Pellistri is said to have idolised Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and he clearly loves to dribble and take on defenders, but also has the ethos to track back and work hard for the team. Although ostensibly a right-winger, he can operate on either flank and use his pace to good effect.
After proving his talent and character with los Carboneros, including competing in the Copa Libertadores, the winger has moved to Manchester to follow in the footsteps of his former coach Forlan.