Skipping the stage of ‘promising’ often tagged on to players of his ilk, Pedro Rodriguez has, in a matter of months, come from nowhere to establish himself as the latest superstar of Spanish football. Born and raised in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Pedro signed for Barcelona shortly after his 17th birthday. After four years playing in the club’s youth and reserve sides, the winger began to make sporadic appearances for the first team in 2008, which increased in frequency once Pep Guardiola had taken over the reigns at Camp Nou. The Barcelona coach was well aware of the young player’s potential from his time training the reserves.
Following some fine performances during the 2009/10 pre-season, Pedro was the name on everyone’s lips, persuading the Catalan side to offer him a contract with the first-team squad. Just six months with the senior side were sufficient for the talented wing man to write himself into the record books by becoming the first-ever footballer to score in six different competitions – Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish Supercup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA European Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup 2009 – within a single season. Known up to then as Pedrito (‘Little Pedro’), the scale of his achievement saw the nickname consigned to history, as his team-mates now tipped their hats to Don Pedro.
Easy-going and cheerful, what the 22-year-old lacks in physical stature (1.69 m; 64 kg), he makes up for in astonishing, two-footed ball skills, and an ability to attack the opposing defence on either wing when the occasion arises. His other attributes include impressive pace, a great eye for goal and a competent long-range shot.