Football News

“Now I am where I want to be” – Pedri reveals Real Madrid snub and names surprise Barcelona star in ideal XI

By Harry Edwards

Published: 20:37, 24 March 2022

Pedri has revealed he was turned down by Real Madrid before joining Barcelona after having a three-day trial with Los Blancos.

The Spanish midfielder has quickly become a fan favourite at Barcelona since making his first-team debut last season, already playing 70 times for the club across all competitions.

In his first season alone, Pedri made 52 appearances for Barcelona before going on to the European Championships and Olympics with the Spanish national team. His performances for club and country earned Pedri the 2021 Golden Boy award, as the best player aged 21 or under.

This season has been slightly different for the 19-year-old with injuries catching up with him, but Pedri remains a big part of the Barcelona future. It could have been so much different, however.

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When Pedri was 15, the Spaniard had a trial with Spanish giants Real Madrid that was initially hampered by the fact that it had been snowing in Spain, causing it to be postponed. And when Pedri did manage to make it onto the pitch, Real Madrid apparently didn’t like what they saw.

“I went there and for the first days I couldn’t train because there was snow on the pitches,” Pedri told Cope.

“I trained for three days. For one I think I played with them and I was sent down to the B team to train and was told I was not good enough to be there and they would continue to look at me.

“Now I am where I want to be. At first you don’t like being rejected anywhere, but then it serves as motivation to think that if they didn’t want you, you’ll have to work hard to make something else happen in the future.

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“I don’t remember who turned me down, if I see him I’ll tell him I’m having a great time now at Barcelona.”

Already in his short time at Barcelona, Pedri has managed to play with some of the best players in the world, including Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique. And all three get into his ideal XI.

It’s an XI that is pretty predictable for a Barcelona player, full of Blaugrana stars that Pedri will have either watched growing up or at least heard about their legacy. But there are perhaps two surprise names. The first isn’t a surprise in name, as Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest goalscorer in men’s football history, but his Real Madrid links could have counted against him.

But Pedri also included current Barcelona centre-back Eric Garcia in his team, for his ball-playing abilities.

He said: “Can I make it all Barcelona?

“[Marc Andre] ter Stegen, Eric Garcia, who for me is crazy taking the ball out and my team has to have the ball, and [Gerard] Pique.

“At right-back Dani Alves, who is a good friend. On the left Jordi [Alba]. In midfield Busi [Sergio Busquets], Ronaldinho further forward and Xavi.

“On the left of attack [Andres] Iniesta, so he can drift inside, on the right Messi and Cristiano up front.”