Barcelona's Pedri thanks Real Madrid for not signing him

By Sports Desk November 16, 2020

Pedri thanked Real Madrid for not signing him, saying he was where he wanted to be at Barcelona.

The 17-year-old joined the LaLiga giants from Las Palmas in July, and has scored twice in 10 appearances for Barca this season.

But it could have been different for the teenager, who was turned down by Madrid after a trial.

Pedri, a Spain youth international, said he was glad to be rejected by Barca's rivals.

"I went to test with Real Madrid but they told me I didn't have the level," he told Cadena SER on Monday.

"I thank the one who told me I was not worth it, now I am in the team that I have always loved."

Barcelona sit eighth in the LaLiga table, nine points behind leaders Real Sociedad, although they have played two fewer games.

Pedri, who has made three league starts this season, is enjoying the opportunity of playing with six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.

"Of course I dreamed of playing with Messi, like many children," he said.

Barcelona are next in action with a trip to Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Man Utd prepared to challenge Chelsea for Rice Rumour Has It: Man Utd prepared to challenge Chelsea for Rice

    Manchester United and Chelsea are set to do battle for the signing of West Ham star Declan Rice.

    Rice, 22, is being touted for a move in the close season, with Chelsea having reportedly led the race for the midfielder's signature.

    But United could be ready to fight for the England international.

     

    TOP STORY – MAN UTD TO CHALLENGE CHELSEA FOR RICE

    Manchester United are prepared to challenge Chelsea to sign Rice ahead of 2021-22, according to ESPN.

    The report says United are eyeing a forward, centre-back and defensive midfielder as priorities at the end of the season.

    Rice is contracted at West Ham, where he arrived as a youth player from Chelsea in 2014, until 2024.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Eric Garcia looks set to finish the season with Manchester City. Marca reports Barcelona cannot afford a transfer fee for the defender and the delay of the LaLiga club's presidential elections, now scheduled for March 7, mean Garcia will have to wait for a move.

    - Also at Barcelona and backup goalkeeper Neto has asked for a January move, according to Sport. It comes as he struggles for game time behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen and amid links to Arsenal.

    - Eder Militao is facing an uncertain future at Real Madrid. Goal reports Bayern Munich have joined the list of clubs who have asked about the defender, with Juventus, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund also reportedly interested in Militao, who has played just three times this season.

    - Milan want Chelsea's Fikayo Tomori. The Daily Mail reports the Serie A leaders have discussed a loan with the option to make the move permanent for €30.4million (£27m) at season's end.

  • Milan confirm signing of Torino midfielder Meite Milan confirm signing of Torino midfielder Meite

    Milan have confirmed the signing of Soualiho Meite from Torino on an initial loan deal until the end of the season with the option to buy.

    The 26-year-old midfielder is the Serie A leaders' first signing of the January transfer window and will reportedly cost an additional €9.5million to sign permanently at the end of the campaign.

    Meite makes the switch to San Siro with two and a half years of Serie A experience behind him, having arrived at Torino from Monaco in July 2018.

    He made 82 league appearances for Torino, including 11 starts this season.

    Milan announced the loan capture on their official website on Friday, with Meite to wear the number 18 jersey.

    The former France-Under 20 international has also previously represented Auxerre, Lille and Bordeaux.

  • Guardiola: Man City achievements not possible without Sterling Guardiola: Man City achievements not possible without Sterling

    Kevin De Bruyne's gesture during the closing stages of Manchester City's Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion was one of selflessness towards a team-mate and friend, but also one that backfired.

    De Bruyne ceded his penalty-taking duties after drawing a foul from Albion goalkeeper Robert Sanchez in stoppage time at a sodden Etihad Stadium, giving Raheem Sterling the chance to step up.

    Unfortunately, the England international ballooned his attempt into the deserted North Stand, leaving Pep Guardiola's side with a few more needlessly nervy minutes to see out a 1-0 win.

    A key contributor as City racked up six major trophies in the three previous campaigns under Guardiola, Sterling is yet to fully hit his stride this time around, even as his colleagues in sky blue have moved their collective level through the gears over recent weeks to sit menacingly poised in the Premier League title race.

    The Brighton miss means he has scored only three goals in his past 18 appearances in all competitions, a run of four in three either side of the October international break proving to be something of a false dawn.

    "He’s an incredibly important player for us," Guardiola said of Sterling ahead of Sunday's meeting with Crystal Palace, which will come as the immediate dust settles on the top-two clash between Manchester United and Liverpool at Anfield.

    "Everything we have done in the past, without him would not have been possible."

    True as that might be, Sterling relocating his past form would certainly benefit City in an unpredictable season of ample possibilities.

    In 2019-20, Sterling enjoyed the most prolific season of his career, scoring 20 goals in the Premier League and 31 overall.

    His Premier League haul outperformed an xG of 17.3, coming from 97 shots, although he was even more clinical in those terms the last time City won the Premier League in 2018-19.

    In that year of a domestic treble, within 25 in all competitions, Sterling's 17 top-flight goals from 77 attempts had an xG value of 13.7.

    This season, he has four Premier League goals and an xG of 3.6. His 29 shots include five unsuccessful efforts from inside the six-yard box.

    Close-range misses have become an unwelcome feature in Sterling's game, most gallingly when he blazed over with the goal at his mercy during City's chastening Champions League quarter-final defeat to Lyon in August.

    Before last season, the 26-year-old had never dipped below a 50 per cent conversion rate on what Opta rank as "big chances".  He was most efficient in this regard when he scored 18 of 31 (58 per cent) in 2018-19.

    That percentage dropped to 39.6 in 2019-20, as he scored 23 big chances and spurned 35. This term, five scored and 13 missed means a further drop to 27.8 per cent within this smaller sample size.

    Sterling's overall shot conversion of 14.3 per cent is its lowest since 11.7 per cent in Guardiola's first trophy-less season at City in 2016-17.

    So, in a talent stacked squad, should he be fearing for his place? In short, no.

    "He will score goals, he will make assists and he wants to help in all departments," Guardiola insisted.

    "Normally wingers are not able do that but he can help us. I'm more than happy to have him here with us."

    A player holding himself to the high standards Sterling does is unlikely to take any comfort in the old head-tousling adage of "he was there to miss 'em", but there is something to be said for his relentless desire to contribute to the cause, irrespective of where his individual form resides.

    Guardiola certainly views him as indispensable. Sterling has played 24 games and completed 1,864 minutes this season, second only to Premier League ever-present Rodri in the City squad.

    He has had more shots on target (27) and attempted (88) and completed (41) more dribbles than any other City player. In terms of overall shots (38) and assists (six) he is only bettered by Kevin De Bruyne.

    Sterling has created 30 chances for others and, despite his struggles in front of goal, remains joint-second in the squad's goalscoring charts on seven alongside Ferran Torres, one shy of midweek matchwinner Phil Foden.

    The former Liverpool youngster's previous goal, when he scored decisively at Southampton in December, made him the first player to reach 150 goal involvements for Guardiola's City.

    And, although the Brighton game ended in personal disappointment, his introduction from the bench was his 220th appearance under Guardiola. No player has been selected more frequently by the Catalan tactician in his celebrated career, with a certain Lionel Messi second on that list.

    It is that overall big picture of absolute trust and an unquenchable thirst to contribute to the wider cause that means Sterling will remain one of Guardiola's most trusted performers, even if his dry spell goes on a little longer.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.