Mourinho key to Pedro choosing Chelsea

Spanish footballer Pedro Rodriguez says Mourinho helped convince him join Chelsea

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Spanish international Pedro Rodriguez has admitted that Jose Mourinho played a major role in convincing him to join the English champions ahead of Premier League rivals Manchester United and Manchester City.

Pedro played a starring role with a goal and an assist on his debut as Mourinho's men got their first victory of the season at the third attempt in a 3-2 win at West Brom on Sunday.

Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta got Chelsea's other goals at the Hawthorns and Pedro also said their presence and that of former Barca teammate Cesc Fabregas pushed him towards a move to Stamford Bridge.

"Mourinho phoned me and the truth is I liked what he had to say and he convinced me," Pedro said at a farewell press conference in Barcelona Monday.

"It wasn't just Mourinho. I would say to the Barca fans I also liked the club, the chance to live in London and having friends already in the team.

"There was interest from many clubs in England. We already know about Manchester United's interest and they are a great club.

"When the best teams in the world like [Manchester] City, United or Chelsea are interested in you it is flattering. In the end I think Chelsea were ones that were most interested and found the quickest solution to my situation.

"I don't regret it because Chelsea are a great club with very good players and where we want to win titles like at Barcelona."

Pedro scored 99 goals and won 20 trophies with the Catalans, including five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.

However, he found himself down the pecking order as Barca won the treble last season behind the lethal front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

"The most important factor in my decision to leave was the lack of opportunities. I wanted to feel important, to have minutes on the field and play in important matches," he added.

"There are many good memories. I have had the luck to experience a very good era in which we have won many trophies and I have scored in finals.

"I am left with those moments of euphoria and happiness when we won titles.

"I go with my head held high and having learned a lot from legends of the club like Andres [Iniesta], Xavi [Hernandez], [Carlos] Puyol and the best player in the world [Messi]."