More playing time reason to quit Barcelona: Pedro

Barcelona, Aug 25 (IANS) Admitting that he was finding it difficult to compete with three South American talismans — Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez — for a place in FC Barcelona, forward Pedro Rodriguez said his reason to leave the Catalan football giants for English champions Chelsea was to get consistent playing time.

“I’ve always wanted playing time and here (at Barcelona) it was difficult for me to have that continuity. Leaving was the best solution and now I am looking forward to a new challenge,” Xinhua quoted Pedro as saying on Monday.

The Spanish international had a dream debut for Chelsea on Sunday, scoring one goal and making another in their 3-2 win away against West Bromwich Albion in an English Premier League (EPL) encounter.

He admitted Barcelona had wanted him to stay, but Chelsea’s offer had convinced him the time had come to move after a season in which he said he had “suffered more than any other time at the club. I sensed that I wasn’t in a prominent position and that made me feel sad”.

“That’s why I decided to go down a new road; I wanted to feel important and it was not a question of money. I had to leave to aspire to new things and feel important again,” he explained.

Pedro had looked to be on the verge of joining Manchester United, but explained, “Chelsea were the quickest to get the deal sorted out and closed”.

Moving to Chelsea means he is now working with coach Jose Mourinho, the former Barcelona assistant coach, who has now become the club’s arch enemy. Pedro was willing to let bygones be bygones.

“I know who he is and what has happened in the past, but I liked what he said to me,” he explained.

“He wants to make the team strong and he is counting on me….I don’t want to speak about the past, only my hopes for the future,” commented Pedro, who concluded by saying he had always been treated with respect at Barcelona and he would prefer not to play against his old club with a different team.

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