Chelsea move a gamble I had to take, says Pedro
Chelsea's new signing Pedro has said he took a "gamble" by leaving Spanish champions Barcelona after eight successful years, but one driven by his desire for more playing time.
The Spain striker completed a 30 million euro ($34.6 million) move to the Premier League champions last week and came up with a goal and an assist on his debut in their 3-2 victory at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
"Of course I would have liked to have stayed at Barca and retire here," Sky Sports quoted the 28-year-old as telling the Spanish media in his farewell press conference for which he flew back to Barcelona on Monday.
"That was my intention when I signed my contract extension. But I've taken a gamble because it's what I wanted.
"I wasn't going to stay here just to appear on the photo," he added.
Pedro, who has scored 59 goals for the Catalan club in 128 La Liga starts, found his opportunities limited after the arrival of Luis Suarez from Liverpool last season and decided to move despite signing a new four-year contract in June.
"I was really happy when I signed that contract. But then I saw that my situation would not change.
"I'm always ambitious but it was difficult to have continuity here. Now I have new challenges and the opportunity to continue to play," he said.
"This offer arrived and it gave me everything I needed to take a decision. I wanted to leave to have more playing time," the Spain international and World Cup winner added.
Pedro won 20 trophies in his time with Barcelona, including five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues crowns.
"I'm very happy to be at Chelsea because it's a club that, like Barca, are fighting for titles," he said.
"I had offers from other English clubs -- Manchester United, City and Chelsea, who were the club that more rapidly resolved my transfer and the one that showed more interest in me," the striker added.
"I just hope I don't have to face Barca or step out at the Nou Camp wearing another jersey. It would be difficult, I wouldn't like it.
"I don't think Barca will miss me because they have plenty of quality players, but I will sure miss them, the players and the club," he said.