The next instalment in the Rijkaard vs Guardiola series will see the two wingers being put up against each other. This means Ludovic Giuly vs Pedro.
After the last week the team’s had, it’s hard to sing their praises but Pedro deserves it. Sure he was pretty non-existent against Arsenal, but considering the two years he’s had, isn’t he entitled to an off-day?
One of the players promoted to the first team by Guardiola, he has truly blossomed, and as Guardiola puts his rise, from Cassa de le Salva (the only place Barca B lost under Guardiola) to world champion.
Pedro has electric pace, but I feel his best attribute is his finishing. Scorer in a record 6 competitions in one year, Pedro is described by Guardiola as being as deadly as Messi in the penalty area. Guardiola also said:
"If Pedro was Brazilian, he’d be called Pedrinho and we wouldn’t have enough money to afford him."
Pedro currently lies on 21 goals in all competitions and 7 assists, truly phenomenal stats, especially considering he has more goals than renowned striker David Villa. He is now a key member of the team, and forms one part of our MVP triumvirate strike force with Messi and the aforementioned Villa. He is an amazing individual who works so hard for the team, and is sure to go down as one of the all-time Barca greats.
The same isn’t really true to Giuly, who was a great player but was probably the least well-known attacking player of Rijkaard’s team. He scored 7 in the 2006 season, something Pedro did in 7 consecutive games, just a few weeks ago. Giuly also was a liar it seems as, he promised the other players and the media that if Barca won the Champions League in 2006, he would grow a moustache to complement his nickname of "Freddie" a la Freddie Mercury.
His excuse, "I was going to grow one during the World Cup, but decided against it after being left out."
Joking aside, he was a key player during the Champions League winning side, but as key as Pedro is to this side? I don’t think so (especially after his introduction turned the Sporting game) and therefore I declare the winner to be Pedro.