ExtraFootie’s scout leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the “next big thing” in world football, with this week’s attention turning to Barcelona’s next big thing Pedro Rodriguez.
In 2005 it was Lionel Messi. In 2006 it was Giovanni Dos Santos. In 2007 it was Bojan Krkic, and last year it was midfielder Sergio Busquets.
This year it is a certain Pedro Rodriguez who is the latest star in the making to emerge from Barcelona’s famous and revered youth set-up.
From the moment ‘Pedrito’ (little Pedro) changed his name to just Pedro, it was clear that the 22-year-old was never one to accept anything other than proper recognition in the first-team.
Just three months into the new campaign and that is exactly what Pedro has done – established himself as a key component in Pep Guardiola’s all conquering side, albeit in the wake of injuries to Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta.
So what is it about the the 5ft 7in Catalan that has convinced Guardiola to throw him into the first-team fold with such regularity this season?
Well, you can start by looking at his goal record – nine goals in 16 appearances this season, including three in La Liga and the winner in the UEFA Super Cup against Shakhter Donetsk.
Add exquisite technique, the ability to beat a man and the archetypal Spanish flair coupled with technique, and it is easy to see why Pedro is not just deployed in early-round cup games.
The vultures are already circulating, but Pedro is going nowhere fast, after all, La Blaugrana would never let a promising cantera-based player leave could they?
Name: Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma
Club: Barcelona (Spain)
Major Honours: La Liga (2008), UEFA Champions League (2008), Spanish Copa Del Rey (2008), Spanish Super Cup (2009) UEFA Super Cup (2009)