Barca coach Gerardo Martino was full of praise for Pedro, who scored a spectacular hat-trick in the Catalan giants’ win over Getafe at the weekend, despite missing a few of their usual faces.
“He has great goalscoring ability and his true merit is that he never gives up. If he’s in the line-up he’s happy and if he’s on the bench, he’s happy too. He knows just how important his contribution is and you can’t help but admire him for that,” said the coach.
Martino went on: “I don’t need him to score three goals a match because he always scores. More often than not, a player’s performance is judged by the number of goals he scores. There are players who are taking part in the game, they are unselfish and if they score, all the better.”
Several of Barca’s familiar faces were absent on Sunday due to injury, including Neymar and Messi, who’s still recovering in Argentina. However, despite the 2-5 scoreline and Pedro’s fantastic hat-trick, the absence of Barca’s main stars was notable on the pitch
On the missing stars, Martino said: “I miss Leo, Victor Valdés, Xavi and Neymar whether we win or lose. I prefer them to be available and to have to wrack my brain to select the team. In January we will have a full squad and it’s much easier if there are too many, instead of cutting it so fine.”
The Barca coach finished up by saying “I always believe that no matter how many players are out, Barça has enough for an excellent line-up. We do notice it when there are players missing but it is no excuse for playing badly. What’s important to me is that we take our winter break with the feeling that the squad is comfortable, dominates matches and that for 70 minutes it gave a show of strength.”
Barca now go into the winter break at the top of the Spanish league with Atético Madrid in second place and Real Madrid 5 points behind in third place.