Chelsea FC’s new winger Pedro Rodriguez has revealed conversations with Jose Mourinho and Cesc Fabregas persuaded him to swap FC Barcelona for the Premier League champions.
Pedro chose the Blues over English rivals Manchester United despite appearing set for a move to Old Trafford until Chelsea’s late intervention into the transfer saga.
The 28-year-old’s decision to snub interest from United and Manchester City was inspired by the personal touch from Chelsea FC manager Mourinho and fellow Spain international Fabregas, who both contacted Pedro to tell him how much he would relish life at Stamford Bridge.
Pedro fell down the pecking order at FC Barcelona
“He (Mourinho) is one of the main reasons why I’m here. He phoned me a few times and said he needed me to make the team stronger,” Pedro told Chelsea FC’s website.
“He has won titles wherever he has been. I am really looking forward to playing under him and hopefully winning more titles.
“I spoke to Cesc. We are very good friends. I knew I would feel at home here and that was one of the main reasons why I decided to join.
“He’s a great player, he’s got brilliant vision and he links up really well with the other attacking players. I know we work well together on the pitch so I can’t wait to play with him again.
“I have also played with Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta before, for the national team, so I feel very comfortable here.”
Mourinho’s latest acquisition has an impressive pedigree, boasting five La Liga trophies and three Champions League titles.
But he left Barcelona having fallen down the pecking order under Luis Enrique, who has preferred the all-star front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez and has used the Canary-Islands born player more sparingly.
After such a frustrating end to his time at Barcelona, Pedro can’t wait to get back into regular action with his new club.
“I am ready to start playing straightaway if the manager selects me,” he said.
“Sometimes I play on the right, sometimes on the left, but wherever I play I will give my best.
“I am very fast. I do everything possible to win. I have helped Barcelona win titles and I want to do exactly the same thing at Chelsea, because ultimately we are all here to win things.
“It’s a new challenge and I can’t wait to get going.”
Pedro is a product of FC Barcelona’s famous La Masia
Pedro, full name Pedro Eliezer Rodriguez Ledesma, is a product of Barcelona’s youth academy.
He made his first team debut in January 2008 after catching the eye for their B team.
He developed to become an integral part of Barcelona’s winning machine, and was the first player ever to score in the Spanish league, Copa del Rey, Champions League, both the European and Spanish Super Cups as well as the World Club Cup.
His brilliant performances at club level saw him secure a place in the Spain squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Pedro started both the semi-final and final, and was a key figure in their victory over the Netherlands.
A year later he scored the opening goal in the Champions League final at Wembley as Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-1.
He was a substitute alongside then Chelsea FC players Fernando Torres and Juan Mata in Spain’s Euro 2012 victory over Italy.
Pedro came on as a late substitute in Barcelona’s most recent major success – May’s Champions League final win over Juventus in Berlin.
His final act for Barca was to score the winning goal in last week’s dramatic 5-4 extra-time defeat of Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup in Tbilisi.