Pedro Rodriguez has admitted that it is a wrench to leave Barcelona but conceded last season left his Camp Nou career untenable.
The winger completed a €30m move to Chelsea last week and made an instant impact, scoring and assisting in his new side's 3-2 win against West Brom over the weeked, but he confessed at his farewell Press conference on Monday that Barca would always remain his home.
“It's been many years since I arrived at La Masia and came up through the ranks so I could reach the first team and realise my dream of playing for the team I'd always wanted to represent since childhood,” he began.
“I've always tried to give everything in training and matches, learning from players like [Carles] Puyol, [Andres] Iniesta, [Victor] Valdes, Xavi [Hernandez].
“At the end of the season, I realised I wanted to be ambitious and earn more minutes. I saw that it was difficult to do so [at Barca] and knew it was possible to leave.
“I did think I could stay for a few more years because I knew I wouldn't experience the same realities at another club, but on the other hand [leaving] was an opportunity.
“I spoke with the President and eventually joined a club I liked as soon as I arrived and was excited [to join them].
“It was weird because I never thought I'd leave Barca, but I'm also happy to be faced with new challenges.
"I believe and hope I've conducted myself in the best possible way on and off the field. The fans loved me and I thank them for their support.
“I'm sad to be leaving this club but happy to have been given everything [by them], so I'm happy in this sense.
“It's been a very emotional situation for me, my family, teammates and all the people I've met at this club"
"The hardest part was making the decision to leave, leaving my club, my teammates, the fans I've met on the street and who love me.
“I've lived many unforgettable moments at Barca. I'll treasure the moments of euphoria, when the team's objectives had been met.
“Last season was the one in which I suffered most. There was a lot of competition and it was sad for me, although retaining the fans' support was important.
“I had to leave because of the lack of continuity I had in the team. I wanted to feel important and play in the big games.”
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