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Chelsea can beat Barcelona… I should know! – Pedro

Lionel Messi? He’s not invincible. Beating Barcelona? It’s not impossible.

To be fair, Pedro is about as well placed as anyone to make such assertions.

Of course, the former Barcelona winger is quick to qualify his remarks, stating in no uncertain terms the size of the task in front of Chelsea.

Pedro can give Chelsea the inside line on his former club Barcelona head of Tuesday’s clash

Pedro and Cesc Fabregas will face their former side in the Champions League round of 16 tie

Pedro and Cesc Fabregas will face their former side in the Champions League round of 16 tie

But if there’s anyone who knows the Catalan club’s weak points then it’s Pedro, who faces his former club for the first time since leaving the Nou Camp for Stamford Bridge in August 2015.

Pedro — along with team-mate Cesc Fabregas — featured the last time these clubs met in the Champions League.

It is an occasion Pedro has tried but failed to erase from his memory. It is also a memory that proves Barca are beatable.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg at Stamford Bridge, the Londoners — coached by Roberto di Matteo — clinched a place in the final thanks to an epic 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.

It was a breathtaking night that saw John Terry sent off, Messi miss a penalty and Fernando Torres score in the last minute to complete a brilliant comeback after the Spaniards had raced into a 2-0 lead.

We know how the rest of the story developed a few weeks later in Munich, Chelsea lifting the European Cup for the only time in their history.

Pedro was on the losing side the last time Chelsea met Barcelona in the Champions League

Pedro was on the losing side the last time Chelsea met Barcelona in the Champions League

Times have changed, of course.

That Chelsea team have seen their core ripped out: Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech all played significant parts in the unforgettable tie just under six years ago.

And while Messi remains, this is also a very different Barcelona team — Luis Suarez, in particular, brings something fresh to the table. 

Pedro recalled: ‘I remember those games so well, Chelsea were always horrible opponents, very difficult in those games — compact, strong in defence, pressed very well.

‘For that reason, we always found it difficult against them. It was frustrating. This memory stays with me even now, a very sad day for me and my team-mates. 

Pedro won three Champions League titles with his boyhood club before leaving in 2015

Pedro won three Champions League titles with his boyhood club before leaving in 2015

‘So this is a special game for me. I played for so many years in Barcelona, and I have so many friends there, and a lot of good memories of my time at that club.

‘It will be a difficult game, for sure, but one I’m looking forward to starting. It will be difficult because they’re a very great, big team, but it’s not impossible. That is the reality.’

One question remains. How on earth do Chelsea stop Messi?

In fairness, they have done a pretty good job shackling the Argentine in recent times. Messi has not scored against Chelsea in their eight meetings between 2006 and 2012.

Pedro, however, isn’t fooled by that statistic, saying: ‘How do we stop Messi? I don’t know. It’s difficult, he’s the best player in the world. But he is not invincible. 

Pedro says former team-mate Lionel Messi, who has never scored vs Chelsea, is 'not invincible'

Pedro says former team-mate Lionel Messi, who has never scored vs Chelsea, is ‘not invincible’

‘It’s probably a hard game for us, a massive game, but if the team are really focused on fighting together, you never know in football.

‘But obviously it’s Barcelona, it’s Leo Messi. It’s very difficult to stop this guy because he’s very quick, very clever on the pitch. He’s on another level.

‘It’s very difficult to copy him and pick up how he moves. For him, it’s instinctive and he’s unique. No one can do what he does. For this reason, to have played with him is special.

‘Special for me and something to tell my sons in the future because, probably, he’ll be considered the best in history.

‘But look, it’s not impossible. If you start with fear, that hands it to Barcelona.’

Chelsea vs Barcelona: Top five ties



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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