Pedro: I've not only joined Chelsea because of Mourinho

Pedro Rodriguez Spain

Pedro has admitted it was a tough decision to leave Barcelona, but feels he's joined another great club by moving to Chelsea.

Pedro Rodriguez returned to Barcelona on Monday, offering an emotional farewell to the club, former colleagues and fans, having completed his move to Chelsea last week.

The 28-year-old began: "This has been my home for many years. From the very first day I understood the Barça philosophy, from the youth teams to the first team. I managed to get there and make my dream a reality."

"I've learned from great players and managers. I want to give my thanks to them all, especially my team-mates."

With a mixture of pride and sadness, Pedro continued: "I remain with all the experiences I've had, of being a part of this marvellous club and its history. I leave with my head held high."

"I leave having learned from players like Iniesta, Puyol, Xavi, Valdes. Also from Leo Messi, who is the best in the world. They have also shaped me personally, with all the values of this club."

"I also feel loved by the fans and I'm sad to leave this place, but also content that I've given the very best of myself."

Discussing his decision to leave Barcelona, Pedro explained: "We knew it was an option at the end of last season. I've always wanted to be ambitious, but knew that here it was always difficult to get continuity."

"That's why there was the possibility of leaving and that's happened. New challenges, new aims and so I could continue playing."

Pedro admitted leaving Barcelona for Chelsea "was a little strange at first. I never thought I would leave this club, but now I'm happy to be living a new experience, with other team-mates and another great club."

He also acknowledged: "The most difficult thing was leaving the fans behind, my team-mates, all the messages I've received and all the affection from people. That's the most difficult thing. It was a strange situation."

Discussing what attracted him to England, Pedro highlighted: "Obviously the atmosphere there is in the Premier League, with all the stadiums full and the fans backing the teams. I was also attracted to the way the game is played, back and forth so quickly. English football is very attractive and exciting."

Underlining that he "didn't want to stay at Barcelona just to be in the photos," Pedro also spoke about the wealth of interest from leading Premier League clubs, and his final decision to accept the offer from Stamford Bridge.

"There was interest from other clubs in England. There was Manchester United and Manchester City, but Chelsea were the swiftest to move, showing the most interest. I'm happy to go there because they're also pushing for trophies, just like Barça."

He also revealed: "I spoke with Mourinho and he convinced me, but I've not only joined Chelsea because of Mourinho. I can tell Barça fans I was also attracted to London, plus I'm also sharing the dressing room with good friends I have there."

Looking ahead and the possibility of potentially facing Barcelona in the Champions League this season, Pedro suggested: "I would prefer not to cross paths with Barça or step out onto the Camp Nou pitch wearing another shirt. That would be very difficult and I wouldn't like it."

He also expressed his gratitude for the welcome received at Chelsea, noting: "My welcome there has been incredible. John Terry is an exemplary captain and I've been very well treated right from the start. I also have very good friends there from the national team and from La Liga."

Along with a desire to get more regular league action, one potential reason for heading to Chelsea was considered to be the need to reinforce his place in the Spain squad. Particularly ahead of the EURO 2016 finals in France next summer.

On that note, Pedro concluded: "The Spanish national team has also been an important factor, but not decisive. We have a an important tournament next summer, but I did this more for myself, to get more minutes and to play in important games."

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