It is not uncommon for Pedro to be contesting for end-of-season silverware in a glittering career in which the Spaniard has won 20 major honours. Now the Europa League final represents an opportunity for Chelsea to add a trophy to a productive 2018/19 campaign.
The 31-year-old has featured in all but one game on the way to this evening’s final against Arsenal in Baku and he has urged his team-mates to finish the season with one last push for glory against our old London rivals. If successful in Azerbaijan, that special winning feeling will mark a job well done over the past nine months for Maurizio Sarri’s side.
The Europa League is one rare piece of silverware missing from Pedro’s CV and that fact gives motivation to the winger in a final he believes will be an open contest between two of the top five in English football.
‘It gives me added motivation because it is a title that’s not yet on the list of achievements for my career, and also because it’s a European title for the club and that always drives you on a little more,’ he said.
‘We’ve had a great Europa League campaign and the final against Arsenal is going to be very good to watch and very open. They are an opponent that we know likes to play football, they defend from the front like we do, so I think it will be a final that is very easy on the eye.’
Our European campaign this term has provided plenty of opportunities for the young players in the squad to feature and thrive. Ruben Loftus-Cheek netted his first Chelsea hat-trick in the group stage before opening the scoring with a crucial goal in the semi-final second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt, while four of Callum Hudson-Odoi’s five senior goals have come in the competition this term.
For Pedro, the blend of youth and experience has created a perfect dressing room dynamic and the forward has taken on the responsibility of imparting his football wisdom to those stepping up.
‘I feel I’ve built up quite a bit of experience over my career so I always try to give any advice I can,’ he explained. ‘We have a good group here – the young players and the veterans are all in tune with one another in the dressing room and that’s important.
‘There are players with a lot of experience like David Luiz or Eden Hazard, and other players who’ve been playing for this club for several years like Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill. They can give a lot of advice to the young players as well. N’Golo Kante is another good example because he’s a very calm person who plays an important role for us. He always trains in the best way and in that sense we have a good group to be able to compete and also learn as well.