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Getting To Know: Pedro Rodríguez

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 05:  Pedro Rodriguez of Barcelona controls the ball during the la Liga match between Barcelona and Real Zaragoza at the Camp Nou stadium on March 5, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 05: Pedro Rodriguez of Barcelona controls the ball during the la Liga match between Barcelona and Real Zaragoza at the Camp Nou stadium on March 5, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
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Full name: Pedro Eliezer Rodríguez Ledesma
Squad No: 17
Position: Winger
Date of birth: 28 July 1987
Place of birth: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight: 64 kg (141 lbs)

Pedro Rodriguez was born in the capital of the Canary Island, Santa Cruz.  It is the city where the islands' biggest club, CD Tenerife, is based, but despite Pedro's high potential, he never made it to the youth academy of the club. So when he turned 16 he went to the youth program of CD San Isidro, a smaller club located 45 minutes from Santa Cruz in the town called Granadilla de Abona.

After one year of showcasing his skills, he joined Barcelona's youth structure. Three years later he was promoted to Barcelona B, but played only one game in his first year. He spent the next two season splitting time between the B team and the first team, but the majority of his playing time was still with the reserve team. He was a key figure in Guardiola's team that won a promotion and when Pep took over management of the first team, he kept a close eye on the youngster. During Guardiola's stint with the B team Pedro got called up five time and made his Primera División debut in a 4-0 win against Numancia on 12 January 2007. After three years, 55 games and 17 goals for the B team, the youngster got promoted to the first team.

Pedro started the 2009-10 season on the bench and was often used as a second half substitution, but he also got the occasional start. The more the season progressed more Pedro played and toward the end of the season, he was a regular member of the starting eleven. In December in the United Arab Emirates he scored in the FIFA Club World Cup and became the first player to ever score in six competitions in one season. It is an accomplishment that with the current current club playing format can only be equaled and never beaten. The competitions Pedro scored in were: La Liga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

The next season he was already firmly established in the starting XI and he continued where he ended the previous year; playing with a lot of energy and scoring goals. However, he became much better at distributing the ball and he is currently third on the team in assists, ahead of Xavi and Iniesta. In two full seasons and small parts of two other seasons, Pedro has 110 first team appearances, 43 goals and 14 assists.

Pedro's stellar performances were also noticed by Vicente del Bosque, the coach of Spain's national side. The manager included the winger in his World Cup 2010 team before he even played a single minute for La Furia Roja. On 29 May 2010, nine days after being named into the World Cup team, Pedro made his debut in a friendly against Saudi Arabia. In South Africa he was primarily used as a substitute, but he started in both the semi-final and final of the tournament. Pedro has 12 international games under his belt and in a friendly against Poland he scored his first, and so far only, goal for Spain.

Profile
Pedro's ambidextrous nature, naturally right handed, but he very often plays with his left foot, allows him to play on either side of the field. He can also play as a striker, but with the talent Barcelona boast in that position he has yet to play there. Pedro is fast, agile and technically gifted, so he possesses a wide array of solutions with which he can beat any defender that stands in his way. However, he does struggle when defenders play his body, and not the ball, because he lacks physical presence and he can be knocked off the ball easily.

Honors
FC Barcelona

  • La Liga (2): 2008-09, 2009-10

  • Copa del Rey (1): 2008-09

  • Suparcopa de España (2): 2009, 2010

  • UEFA Champions League (1): 2008-09

  • UEFA Super Cup (1): 2009

  • FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2009

Spain

  • FIFA World Cup (1): 2010

In the summer of 2010 Pedro signed a new contract to keep him in Barcelona until 2015.

Next up: Gabriel Milito

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