12th of April 2010

PR17, the model guy for Guardiola

He chased Arbeloa, Albiol, Garay and also Sergio Ramos and prevented them to play the ball. He fought with Xavi Alonso, Van der Vaart and Gago, and also faced Cristiano. Nothing is beneath the dignity of Pedro Rodríguez, or PR17, that is, the antithesis of CR9 [Cristiano Ronaldo], maybe because when he was a child he was taught the values coming from the humility and the effort, those which Guardiola remember every day at the dressing room, taking Pedro, his Pedrito, as an example against too streched egos. If Guardiola has an idea of a team, Pedrito is its face. The Komando Pedrito, a non official supporters club created in his honour, adress in its statutes the same values, solidarity, effort, hard work, efficiency...


Guardiola met Pedro three years ago, when he arrived as a coach for the second team, and from then they have never let each other go. Guardiola knew about him thanks to a report guaranteed by the people in charge of the youth categories of Barça. They talked about a winger, and recommended to send him back to Tenerife after two years at the youth categories because he hadn’t enough level in the field. Guardiola, however, gave him an opportunity as soon as he knew his position. The efforts of Pedro made the rest.

As a football worker, Pedro won the right to climb up to the proffesional dressing room and, from there, he was given the option to become a legend. Pedro scored a goal in the semi finals of the Clubs World Cup, in Abu Dhabi, which made him to become the first football player worldwide to score in six different competitions within the same year. That is: Spanish League and ‘Copa del Rey’ before June and from August, bada bing bada bam, to Athletic, at the Spanish Super Cup, to Shakhtar Donetz at the Europe Super Cup, and in Champions. Last season he scored 14 goals and this year he has scored 18 strikes so far since he started his second time with the first team.

Last summer, he had a lot of offers – “We received more calls for Pedro than for anyone else”, explains from time to time Txiki Begiristain- but he never used any of them to force an improvement to his contract. “He has never asked anything, he has always accepted what we have offered him”, they tell us at the Technical Services. In all this time, there haven’t been anyone who talked bad about Pedro, maybe because, as they remaind us at the first team’s dressing room, “No one has ever heard him complaining”. He didn’t complain even when he was send to the second team after a week of work with the first team. “I was unfair, I’m sure, but not only he neither made a brave face nor complain, but he played, scored a goal and came back next Monday very happy”, remember Guardiola.

Pedrito’s father works at a petrol station in a service area of Tenerife South he made himself, brick by brick, with the same illusion he put to build the house in ‘Los Abades’, where Pedro was raised.

At the Bernabéu, Pedro proved that there are commitments which can not be bought with money. “It’s very commendable of him. 19 months ago he was playing in Cassà de la Selva”, said Guardiola. While the Bernabéu was looking for Messi, Pedro appeared to defend and attack and also to lock up the game with a goal. As an idol for the people, Pedro Rodríguez put on his work clothes between the Stars and showed all up. He worked as he is, the son of a labourer, and never turn the face back to any effort. “My parents couldn’t come, they had to work” he explained after telling us what meant to him to play with Barça and to score a goal in Chamartín. “I didn’t know how to celebrate it”, said. “We have to start talking very seriously about this player. For us is vital, necessary. He is already one of the big guys of the team, he exceeds our expectations. Pedro is the model”, told us Guardiola, devoted to the player.





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