20 de Febrero de 2018

It will be difficult, but not impossible

Pedro is looking forward to the challenge of facing former teammate Lionel Messi in the Champions League on Tuesday night, but has cautioned that, while Messi might be the world's best player, he is not invincible.

Pedro grew up in Barcelona's famed La Masia academy and believes getting the better of his former team will prove a difficult ask, Messi & Co. are capable of being stopped.

"It's difficult... he [Messi] is the best player in the world," Pedro told the Press. "But he's not invincible. It's probably a hard game for us, a massive game, but if the team are really focused on fighting together, you never know in football.

"We'll have possibilities to get through. But, obviously, it's Barcelona. It's Leo Messi. It's very difficult to stop this guy because he's very quick, very clever out on the pitch. But, look, it's not impossible."

Pedro won 20 major trophies during his time with the Blaugrana, including three Champions Leagues, so the opportunity to face his former team is not lost on the 2010 World Cup winner.

"It's a special game for me," Pedro said. "I played for so many years in this team, and I have so many friends there, and a lot of good memories, of my time at that club.

"It was an incredible time with a special team. They're one of the biggest teams in the world. It's easier to win titles there, probably, than over here because they have very good players like Leo Messi and others, the best players in the world. For this reason, I'm very happy to have played my part and to have won those titles with them.

"It's unbelievable. They're such good players. Leo Messi is the best player in the world for me, but look at the others: Andres [Iniesta], Xavi and all the others, [Thierry] Henry, Ronaldinho, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, [Samuel] Eto'o... so many of them.

"Then there are the likes of [Carlos] Puyol, [Eric] Abidal... the list goes on. I was lucky enough to play with them all, such good players, and stayed more years with them. I learned so much from them as teammates. It was a great honour for me to be there with them, and such a big part of my development as a player from a young age, playing with this type of player."

Pedro was a part of the 2012 semifinal, when Barca sensationally lost a 2-0 lead to a 10-man Chelsea in the Camp Nou second leg, where the Blues would ultimately deny Barca a second straight appearance in final.

"It was frustrating," Pedro said of that match. "This memory stays with me even now, a very sad day for me and my teammates.

"I remember a lot of things: when you control the game and score the first goal... but then Leo [Messi] missed a penalty and then Fernando [Torres] scored with the game's last touch to finish the tie. I remember it all because it was such a sad day for Barcelona and for all of us.

"Chelsea were always horrible opponents, very difficult in these games: compact, strong in defence, pressed very well. For that reason, we always found it difficult against them.

"For the players of Barcelona, they'll be thinking this tie is going to be very tough, this game for them, because Chelsea are strong. Chelsea are compact, and it's never easy to play against us."

Asked if he feared playing Barcelona, Pedro had a clear response.

"No, not at all. If you start with fear, that hands it to Barcelona," he said.

 


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