11

Pedro

BIOGRAPHY

A talented two-footed winger, who is also capable of playing more centrally, Pedro arrived at Stamford Bridge with a fantastic pedigree having already enjoyed success at the highest level at club and international level, which he added to as a Blues player.

He made his Chelsea debut away at West Bromwich Albion in August 2015 and endeared himself to supporters immediately, scoring one and laying on another in a 3-2 victory. He scored his first Premier League goal at home to Sunderland in December 2015, the first game after the departure of Jose Mourinho as manager.

Pedro found good form in the latter months of the season despite some niggling injuries, and recorded two-goal hauls at home to Newcastle and away to Aston Villa, followed by a fine opener in a big win at Bournemouth. He finished joint-third highest scorer with eight goals from the 40 appearances of his maiden season.

In October 2016, early in his second season at Chelsea, he scored the fastest goal of that campaign so far when netting after 30 seconds of a 4-0 win over Manchester United. It was also his 50th Chelsea appearance and began a run of scoring form which included the Premier League's Goal of the Month for November 2016, a turn and spectacular curled finish that equalised in a win at home to Spurs.

Pedro's best form since arriving at the club frequently won him selection ahead of the previous season's Player of the Year Willian, and in the FA Cup, as a left wing-back and a right wing-back. He found the target five times in six games at the turn of the year.

The Spaniard then won his second Goal of the Month award for a truly stunning strike in a 3-0 win away at Everton (above), a result which sparked jubilant celebrations at the final whistle as the Blues closed in on the title, and he was on target again in our final-day thumping of Sunderland as he came off the bench to head home. In total, he scored nine league goals en route to picking up his first trophy in England.

Early in the pre-season tour of 2017, Pedro had to return home having suffered fractures in his face due a collision in a game against Arsenal in Beijing, but he was soon back to fitness and back among the goals, scoring fine strikes against Stoke and Watford.

Pedro made his 100th Chelsea appearance in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield in November 2017

photo of Milestone Milestone

Pedro's season didn't hit the same heights as the one before, as a switch in formation to 3-5-2 meant he was often forced to try and make an impact off the bench. He did score twice in our run to glory in the FA Cup, though, most crucially heading the winner during extra-time of a tight quarter-final tie at Leicester. He also filled in at times in central midfield, most impressively in a fine victory against Burnley in April which he lit up with some dazzling skill. 

He finished 2017/18 with seven goals in 48 appearances in all competitions. 

Pre-Chelsea

Prior to joining Chelsea as a 28-year-old, he had been part of one of the most successful club sides of all-time at Barcelona, while he is also one of very few players to have won both the World Cup and European Championships, a feat achieved with Spain in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

Born in Tenerife, Pedro, whose full name is Pedro Eliezer Rodríguez Ledesma, signed for Barcelona’s Academy in 2004, and made his first-team debut in January 2008 after catching the eye for their B team.

Early in the 2008/09 campaign he had his first taste of European action, playing in a Champions League qualifying match before coming on as a substitute for Thierry Henry in a group-stage game against Sporting Lisbon. He ended the season as a late substitute in their Champions League final win over Manchester United in Rome, a move which served to emphasise his growing stature within a strong squad.

During the following season Pedro began to feature more regularly and became the first player ever to score in the Spanish league, Copa del Rey, Champions League, both the European and Spanish Super Cups and the World Club Cup. Undoubtedly his real breakthrough period, Pedro also scored 10 league goals, one of which came away at Real Madrid, as Barcelona won La Liga.

While his pace with the ball and direct running in wide areas was an obvious strength, Pedro’s ability to pop up with important goals on a regular basis was proving vital, and over the course of a two-month period during the 2010/11 campaign he scored 11 times.

However, he saved his most important strikes for the biggest stage, netting in the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid and then breaking the deadlock in Barcelona’s 3-1 final win over Man United at Wembley with a smart near-post finish.

Pedro was part of the Barcelona side which travelled to Stamford Bridge for the first leg of our Champions League semi-final in 2012, and he came off the bench for the final stages, almost snatching a draw for the visitors when his last-gasp strike came back off the post. He was an unused substitute for the return leg in Spain as we eliminated the hosts following a 2-2 draw.

He continued to prove his worth when it really mattered, though, by scoring a brace as the Catalan club beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in the Copa del Rey final.

Pedro scored his first hat-trick as a Barcelona player in a 4-0 win at Rayo Vallecano in September 2013, and scored another three – this time in the space of just nine minutes – the following December in a 5-2 victory at Getafe. It was during that same season the player reached 250 appearances for the club and scored his 50th league goal.

In the 2014/15 season he scored 11 goals as Barcelona won the Spanish title, Copa del Rey and Champions League.

His final appearance in a Barcelona shirt saw him bring the curtain down on his time at the club in fitting style, with yet another big goal, as he scored the winner in their 5-4 UEFA Super Cup victory over Sevilla.

He ended his time at the Camp Nou having acquired five league titles, three Champions Leagues and three Spanish Cups.

Internationals

Pedro’s impressive form at club level resulted in his call-up into the Spain squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, having made his debut in a warm-up game for the tournament against Saudi Arabia.

His first international goal followed soon after, against Poland, and while he began the tournament featuring largely from the bench, his positive cameos ensured he was given the nod to start in both the semi-final and final as Spain emerged victorious.

Pedro was also part of the Spain squad which won a second successive European Championships in 2012, coming on during the second half of their 4-0 final win over Italy.

In October 2012 he scored his first hat-trick for Spain in a World Cup qualifying match against Belarus, while later in the same campaign it was his strike which proved decisive in an away win in France, putting Spain top of their group and on course for the finals in which he was once again part of the squad.

Two years later and following his first season at Chelsea, Pedro was selected for the Euro 2016 tournament in France where he came on late in two games, including the Round of 16 match against Italy when Spain were knocked out.