Pedro eager to repay Barca

Few players will be as eager to impress at St. George’s Park this week as Pedro.

The Barcelona winger may have six seasons as a Barcelona under his belt, as well as winning one World Cup, one European Championship and two Champions League titles, but this is no ordinary first-team squad.

There can be no guarantees of playing minutes at a club with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar as a first-choice forward line, while Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto and Alex Song vie for midfield places.

Pedro considered leaving the Catalan club this summer but was convinced to stay by new head coach Luis Enrique.

“Cesc Fabregas is a great player. He will do really well at Chelsea”

Pedro 

“I was thinking about leaving last season but it’s normal to have ups and downs,” he said, “I would have loved to play more but now I am confident and happy. 

“I have been here a long time and I spoke to Andoni [Zubizaretta] and Luis, who knows me well. The club have faith in me and it gives me confidence to stay here.

“That was important in keeping me at the club which has given me everything. I want to deliver here. 

Pedro may not be counted among the club’s highest-profile players but he is surely one of the most resilient. Stars have come and gone but Pedro remains a constant.

He said: “There are new signings every year at Barca and I have to deal with that. It is not only those three – Messi, Neymar and Suarez – but Gerard Deulofeu and Rafinha as well. 

“The manager will decide who will play, it can be hard but I can handle it.

“I have always had tough competition here, with Samuel Eto’o, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez. I learned a lot from playing with them.”

Pedro and Gerard Deulofeu use the Perform facilities

Pedro and Gerard Deulofeu use the facilities at SGP

All those players have moved on, as has Pedro’s great friend Cesc Fabregas, who has joined Chelsea.

Pedro believes the former Arsenal man will be a valuable asset at Stamford Bridge.

“Cesc is a great player, one of the best midfielders and he creates chances,” he said. ‘For a forward, he is a great player to have. He will do really well at Chelsea. 

“He is a good friend of mine, not only here, but we were together with the national team.

“Chelsea will be difficult to beat in the Champions League because they have strengthened well and made some great signings.”

Pedro is expecting to learn plenty this season. A versatile forward player, he may this term be employed as a wing-back, and if he has some reservations about the switch, he is ready for the challenge.

“I feel comfortable in attack, but if the coach wants to use me as a full back, I’ll try and be 100 per cent”.

Barcelona’s squad trained for a third day on Wednesday, but were given a chance to relax in the St. George’s Park hotel in the afternoon.

Pedro added his voice to those praising the National Football Centre: “It’s incredible. The grass is very good, the temperature ideal for training, the rooms are very comfortable and there’s a lot of space for us to relax in.”