“It’s my first hat trick. I’m very pleased,” said Pedro after leading Spain to a 0-4 victory over Belarus. This season he’s scored five goals with the Spanish national team and two more for Barça - in the Spanish Super Cup and on Match Day 1 of the Liga against Real Sociedad. In addition, he’s featured in 9 of Barça’s 11 starting line-ups. When he didn’t get the nod to start, he was always used as a substitute - away to Osasuna and at home against Granada.
Echoes of the 2010/11 season
Pedro is showing shades of the form his had two years ago. In the 2010/11 season he started in 39 official matches for Barça and he scored 22 goals. He only missed out on 9 of the team’s 62 matches that season. On the other hand, last year was tougher for the Spanish forward. Pedro sustained various injuries and he didn’t play in 15 of the team’s 64 official matches. He scored 13 goals, 6 of them at the end of the season. His improvement at the end of last year earned him a spot on the Spanish national team ahead of the Euro championship.
An Argentinean idol
The other Barça player to take this weekend’s headlines was Leo Messi. The Barça genius scored two goals for Argentina against Uruguay, taking his all-time goal tally to 30 goals in 82 matches for the blue and whites. In fact, he’s only four goals off the goalscoring mark set by Diego Maradona. “I’ve always been happy in the national team. It’s obvious that with good results everything is more simple. I want to enjoy this moment,” said Messi.
With four goals from set pieces, it’s evident that Barça’s number 10 has notably improved his free kicks this season - two goals for Argentina and two for Barça. Last season he scored three goals from set pieces all year - away to Atlético Madrid and Mallorca, and at home against Espanyol. It seems implausible, but Messi continues to improve.